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MEMORIES 



OF MY SON 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 




JOYCE KILMER (COLUMBIA, 1908) IN GRADUATION GOWN, 
WITH His MOTHER 



MEMORIES 

OF MY SON 

SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



BY 
ANNIE KILBURN KILMER 



WITH NUMEROUS UNPUBLISHED 
POEMS AND LETTERS 



FULLY ILLUSTRATED 



NEW YORK 

BRENTANO S 



Copyright, 19W, by 
ANNIE KILBURN KILMER 



All Rights lieservzd 



TO THE MOTHERS WHO MOURN WITH A PROUD HEART 
FOR THEIR SONS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR 

HONOUR S SAKE, THIS LITTLE BOOK is 

DEDICATED BY THE MOTHER OF 
SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



437201 



FOREWORD 

I HAVE written these Memories with no other 
object than to solace a sorely wounded heart. 
That they may be of interest to those who knew 
and loved Joyce, I cannot doubt, and to those who 
did not know him intimately, save only through his 
Books, these personal details of his boyhood and his 
life before he became a famous writer, may be of 
value. 

A portion of these Memories has been published 
in the "Queen s Work" of St. Louis, and I wish to 
thank the Editor for permission to re-publish the 
same. 

Acknowledgment is also to be made to George 
H. Doran Company, for permission to use certain 
material supplied by me to them for use in their 
volumes "Joyce Kilmer Poems, Essays and 
Letters." 

Although this is essentially a mother s book, I 
would not feel that full justice had been done if 
mention was not made of my husband, Joyce s 
father. It is with his assistance that this book has 
been gotten together, and through his aid it has been 
arranged that the entire proceeds from the sale of 
these Memories of Sergeant Joyce Kilmer will be used 
for the benefit of Joyce s children. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



FACING 
PAGE 



JOYCE KILMER, (COLUMBIA, 1908) IN GRADUATION GOWN, Frontispiece 

JOYCE KILMER, Two YEARS OF AGE 2 

JOYCE KILMER, AGED BETWEEN FIVE AND Six MONTHS 2 

JOYCE KILMER, FIVE YEARS OF AGE 4 

JOYCE KILMER AS A STUDENT IN PREPARATORY SCHOOL 6 

JOYCE KILMER, IN His SOPHOMORE YEAR, COLUMBIA, 1907 .... 6 

ORIGINAL COPY OF BIRTHDAY POEM, 1914 18 

VALENTINE JOYCE KILMER TO His MOTHER 24 

CHILDISH VALENTINE TO His MOTHER 32 

REPORT OF STANDING IN PREPARATORY SCHOOL 32 

JOYCE KILMER IN THE CHARACTER OF Sidney Carton 40 

JOYCE KILMER AND His MOTHER ON RETURN TRIP FROM ENGLAND, 

1914 88 

PHOTOGRAPH OF HAND-LETTERED COPY OF THE FAMOUS POEM, 

"TREES" 96 

JOYCE KILMER, B. A 116 

PRIVATE JOYCE KILMER, JUST AFTER His TRANSFER TO THE 165TH 

(69TH) REGIMENT 122 

MOTHER OF SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER, 1917 128 

JOYCE KILMER S MOTHER LOOKING AT His PICTURE 132 

POSTCARD SENT FROM FRANCE 136 

POSTCARD PHOTOGRAPH OF SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 136 

JOYCE KILMER S MOTHER. TAKEN FEBRUARY, 1918, AND SENT TO 

HlMINFRANCE I 40 



MEMORIES 



OF MY SON 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Then I say: "Why do you love mamma?" And this is his answer, 
spoken with great deliberation: "I will tell you, pocause I lofe to lofe you." 

Some of the other entries in the diary, written the same 
year and early the following year, follow: 

February 19, 1889 "Whose ittle mug is this, mamma?" "It was your 
little sister Ellie s, darling." 

"My ittle sister Ellie gone up to Heving?" "Yes, darling." 

"When she got up to Heving, what she say to Desus, mamma?" 

I did not answer, and he immediately said, in his high bird-like voice: 
"When sister Ellie went up to Heving she say, Desus, do you lofe me, 
Desus? " 

June 10, 1889 While smelling a rose he asked: "Cologne on this flower, 
mamma?" 

"No, darling, that is the natural smell of the flower, God made it to smell 
sweet for you." 

"God s pofumry on it, mamma?" 

June 5th, 1889 A man by the name of Snyder was working in the yard. 
Joyce looked at him and said: "Mr. Snyder sat down beside her, ha! ha!" 
in evident parody of "Little Miss Muffit." 

July 10th, 1889 Part of the ceiling fell down, disclosing laths and 
plaster. When Joyce saw it he pointed to it and said: "Mamma, is that 
Heving?" 

I said, "No, darling, that s where the ceiling has fallen," upon which he 
rejoined, "I thought you said seah lived in the water!" 

February 19th, 1889 He was naughty and I had to talk to him. After 
a while he came to me and said: "I so y I so bad. I fraid God won t lofe 
me." 

His first prayer, offered when he was two and a half years old, is "Oh 
God, bess papa and mamma and gaga (grandma) and bubu Addy (brother 
Andy) and dee ittle Joyce, for Desus sake, Amen." 

While I was praying he said: "You pray to God? Now te me bout 
God s son." 

March Uk, 1890 "Mamma, what is it to marry?" "Oh, it s when two 
people live together like papa and I do." 

Silence for a few moments, then: "If I should marry you, would I be your 
sister-in-law?" 

A former colored servant came to see me for a donation for some affair. 
After she had received it she still lingered in the kitchen. Joyce was with 
me, as always, and pointing a tiny white forefinger at the woman he said: 
"Mamma, is that a formal call?" Even the woman saw the humor of 
that. 

2 



k 




JOYCE KILMER, Two YEARS OF AGE 




JOYCE KILMER, AGED BETWEEN FIVE AND Six 
MONTHS 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



He was prepared for college at the Rutgers Preparatory 
School in New Brunswick, N. J., the city of his birth, entering 
the school when he was eight years of age and being graduated 
from it in 1904. ^ Here he won the Lane prize in public speak 
ing, and was edifor-in-chief of the Argo, the school paper. His 
college freshman and sophomore years were spent in Rutgers, 
where he won the first Sloan entrance examination prize; 
was associate editor of the Targum and was a member of the 
Delta Upsilon fraternity. 

In his junior year he went to Columbia University, where 
he was vice-president of the Philolexian Society and an asso 
ciate editor of Spectator, and where he won the Philolexian 
speaking contest and received honorable mention in the 
Spingarn Belles Lettres contest. In his senior year at Co 
lumbia, he was associate editor of the Jester and president 
of the Anthon Club (Latin), and qualified for the finals of 
the Curtis and the Philolexian medal contest. He was a 
member of King s Crown, Philolexian Society, Civic Club, 
Anthon Club, Churchmen s Association and the Debating 
Union. 

During his junior and senior years at Columbia, I had an 
apartment near the University and was with him from Mon 
day to Friday, when he would come home for the week-ends. 
All through his school and college days it was my custom to 
give him the "lucky tap" just before he was to take the ex 
aminations, or to try for a prize, as it always (so he thought) 
made him successful. Even in his later career, before he was 
to deliver a lecture, he would turn his shoulder to me and I 
would tap it and say "Good luck." 

YlAll this time he had been a regular communicant of the 
Church where he was christened. At eighteen he was a 
licensed lay reader, and it made me very happy to hear him 
read the Lessons from the old Oak Lectern, brought from 
England, in Christ Church on Sunday. It was his intention 
then to enter the ministry later. 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



He went to England with his father and me in 1899. 
While his father was attending to business matters, Joyce and 
I were happy in Derbyshire. Four years later Joyce and I 
went to England alone for the Summer. At that time I was 
arranging for a memorial window for Thomas Kilburn, my 
English ancestor, who was Church Warden in St. Mary s 
Church at Wood Ditton, New Market, Cambridgeshire, in 
1635, and who came to this country in 1638. As my father 
was in direct descent from Thomas Kilburn, the window was 
of great interest to me. 

In 1905, we went again to England. The Kilburn window 
in St. Mary s Church was dedicated on the thirtieth of June 
that happy Summer. Joyce presented the Window to the 
Wardens, as is the English custom. I was so proud when he 
walked up the aisle and said the few necessary sentences. It 
was before he sailed that year that Joyce told his father that 
it was his intention to study for the Episcopal Ministry, and 
he told me of his decision on my birthday St. Dominic s 
Day. Of course it made me very happy, though I had never 
urged him to take up the ministry as a life work, as I realized 
that from every point of view it must be a Vocation. How 
ever, college days seemed to take the matter from his mind, 
and I heard no more about it because I did not then, nor 
do I now, think sacred matters should be urged. Still, to 
my astonishment, he brought home to me in 1907, a Rosary 
of Garnets. 

He was graduated from Columbia on May 23rd, 1908, 
and in June of the same year, he married Aline Murray, of 
Metuchen, N. J. From that time on, perhaps by reason of 
the exactions of his literary work, he seemed to lose all interest 
in his Church. After he had been married about five years 
he became a Catholic, his wife entering this Church at the 
same time. 

Joyce s change of conviction never brought a cloud be 
tween us, and neither did his father ever utter a word of dis- 




JOYCE KILMER, FIVE YEARS OF AGE 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



approval. As for me, I bless the day when he became a 
Catholic. 

I was just as close to him through his brief married life 
as any mother could be. I was with him at many of his 
lectures; with him I attended the various literary clubs of 
which he was a member, including the receptions given by the 
Authors Club, of which he was the youngest member; to 
gether we went to the Poetry Society dinners and to the meet 
ings of the Dickens Fellowship, of which he was the president. 
When possible we were always together. His second book of 
Verse was dedicated to me in a most lovely sonnet, and many 
of his poems in "Main Street" and elsewhere were inscribed 
with the precious words which I am never to read again, 
"To my Mother." 

It was his invariable custom to bring me flowers to wear 
for any evening affair we attended together, and I still have 
the dry withered red roses he brought me the August before 
he sailed for France. I had been in Massachusetts for a few 
weeks and had come to New York to attend a military wed 
ding, where he was to be the best man. The roses, still red, 
are now among my treasures, together with a leaf from the 
wreath which Captain Nichols placed at the foot of the Cata 
falque in St. Patrick s Cathedral, when the wonderful Requiem 
Mass was given. 

In all his life he never told me a falsehood. He seemed 
always to have a great dislike to all pretense and to every 
thing that was not exactly what it seemed to be. He had a 
horror of all forms of cruelty. I have often thought how hard 
it must have been, with his fine supersensitive nature, to 
adapt himself to the dreadful game of war. 

When he enlisted, two weeks after the United States 
declared War, he called me up on the telephone and told me. 
I just said, "Oh!" but like many another mother I did not 
grasp what it might mean; I only knew he had done the only 
thing that my son could do, at such a time. He was already 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



a member of the Columbia Officers Training Corps, and he 
was also very busy on what was to be his sixth and last book 
"Dreams and Images," an Anthology of Catholic Verse. 
As he was determined to be in the war he enlisted in the 
Seventh New York Regiment, and during part of the Summer 
of 1917, he was at the Regimental Armory, going back and 
forth to his desk on the New York Times, and to his home at 
Larchmont. 

I saw him nearly every Thursday, as I had always 
done, and had luncheon with him. I would taxi to the 
annex of the Times building and would find him waiting on 
the pavement ready to tell the driver what cafe he had 
selected. 

At his own request, he was transferred in August to the 
"Fighting Sixty-Ninth," afterward the 165th, stationed at 
Camp Mills, Mineola. Every Sunday his father and I would 
motor out to see him. During that Summer his eldest daugh 
ter Rose Kilburn, my God-daughter and namesake died. 
She was a most beautiful child, but had been an almost life 
long sufferer from infantile paralysis. Just after that sad 
event his last child Christopher was born. 

On a fateful October Sunday, I saw him for the last time, 
though I did not know he was sailing so soon, for he was not 
allowed to tell us. His wife was there that day also, and as 
he bid us good-bye I kissed him and said to his wife, "Aline, 
you may kiss him last." I felt it was her right, although only 
God knew how hard it was for me to do it! The next day I 
knew he had gone! 

I lived through the months he was in France, as mothers 
did in that horrible time, writing him nearly every day and 
sending parcels, many of which missed him, owing to the 
congested state of the mails and other reasons. 

When the news of his glorious death came I was quite 
alone in Litchfield, Conn., where I had gone for a few days 
rest and change of air. I cannot wri^e of that time. Two 

6 




JOYCE KILMER AS A STUDENT IN JOYCE KILMER IN His SOPHOMORE 
PREPARATORY SCHOOL YEAR, COLUMBIA, 1907 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



days afterward the blue star in the Service pin he had given 
to me changed to gold. In the words of Jean Ingelow: 

"Oh! my heart, my heart was sad a-wishing and a-waiting, 
For the lad took up his knapsack he went, he went his way, 
And I looked out of the window as a prisoner through the grating 
Looks and longs, and longs and wishes for its opening day. 

He had climbed, had climbed the mountains he would ne er come 
down!" 

It may be of interest to those who knew and loved my son 
to tell of the incidents that were the inspirations of some of 
his lovely poems. 

We used often to spend our Summers in the Berkshires, 
and "Dave Lilly," the fisherman, was a real character we met 
there. 

"The House with Nobody in It" calls up memories of one 
of our many walks. Coming across an old deserted house we 
investigated it from cellar to attic and found the latter filled 
with rubbish and old letters which the owners had not thought 
worth taking away. A little old flat japanned candle stick 
we took home with us, and it still rests on a desk in my "Old 
Fashioned Room," where many treasures are collected. 
When Joyce received his sergeant s commission he wrote that 
perhaps I might like to hang it in the "Old Fashioned Room." 
When it came I had it framed, and it hangs there now. 

The last three verses of "Roofs" were inspired by the 
sight of some gypsies breaking camp, forced to move away 
on the complaint of some pharisaical person, while we were 
on one of our long walks. Joyce said, "It seems too bad the 
gypsies should always have to move around so," and we both 
agreed that "some day" we would buy a lot somewhere and 
put up a sign 

GYPSIES INVITED 

to pitch their tents here 

By order of 

The Owners. 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



The lot was duly bought, but somehow the sign was never 
put up. Perhaps we realized as we grew up (for my age was 
always the same as his) that the gypsies really preferred their 
Nomadic life. 

But Oh! the wonderful walks we had together. Always 
we would start out on strange roads, for the beaten track had 
little attraction for us, and sometimes when we were not 
quite sure of our bearings and did not want to get hopelessly 
lost, we would lay a branch of a tree with a big spray of golden 
rod to point the homeward way. Once, I remember, we 
stopped at a charming farmhouse, where the ladies sitting 
under the trees beguiled us in and fed us with ripe red apples, 
after taking us all over the house to see the New England 
heirlooms with which it was filled. 

On another walk we had strayed far from home. It was 
hot and dusty, and we very much wanted our dinner. We 
met an old man driving an empty farm wagon, and on the 
spur of the moment I said to him, "I wish you were going our 
way." The old man very deliberately stopped his horse and 
said, "Hey?" I repeated my remark a little louder, upon 
which he climbed down out of his wagon and putting his 
horny hand up to his ear, walked up to me saying, "You ll 
hev to speak a little louder marm, I m ruther dull o hearin ." 
I then yelled it and he replied, "So do I," and walked back to 
his wagon, climbed in and drove off. Joyce by this time was 
some distance ahead, but he came back, and with his shoulders 
shaking with laughter said, "Well, it serves you right for 
talking to people you don t know." 

But I always did, and it seemed to usually come out all 
right when I didn t strike deaf ones. Sometimes it stood me 
in good stead. I remember in 1899, when Joyce was just a 
little fellow not twelve we were in Derbyshire, England. 
It was our custom, right after tea, to walk from our lodgings 
at Newton Grange, to Tissington, the nearest village, -three 
miles off, to get our letters, which did not come by postman 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



as they do now. It would be quite light, in the long beautiful 
sunsets of England, even if we delayed our departure from 
quaint little Tissington till after eight o clock. In taking 
this walk we were obliged to pass through dense woods on 
either side of the high-road for about a quarter of a mile. 
We rarely met anyone, but this time in the distance, approach 
ing us, was a very dirty formidable looking tramp, with a 
heavy knotted stick in his hand. I was frightened, but I 
didn t let Joyce know it. I tucked my gold watch out of 
sight under my red Jersey and swinging my partridge cane, 
which I always carried, went on to meet the tramp. As he 
came up I looked him full in the eyes and said, "Good even 
ing!" Like a flash, off came his tattered cap with the response, 
"Good evening, my lady!" And the incident was closed. 
Perhaps if he had known how frightened I was he might not 
have been so polite. I never told Joyce, but our landlady 
was quite perturbed over the incident. > 

In the Summer of 1914, I was in England, where I had 
spent from April to October every year since Joyce s marriage. 
He came over to accompany me home, and it was on the trip 
over that he wrote "In Mid Ocean," which was dedicated to 
me. Before sailing we were together for ten days in London, 
where we had a wonderful time. England was gay, and full 
of patriotic fervour. Joyce met many of his literary friends 
in London Cecil Chesterton, I remember, was one, but 
there were many others whose names I do not recall. 

We sailed for home on the Atlantic Transport Line, a 
sister boat to the one I had gone over on in April. One of 
our table companions was Miss Helen Gray Cone, whose chaunt 
of "Love for England" was published that Winter. She read 
it at the Dickens Dinner on the Seventh of February, 1915, 
where she was one of the speakers. Miss Cone wrote one of 
the most beautiful poetical tributes to Joyce s memory that 
I have seen, containing an allusion to "Main Street." 

In 1915, I again visited England. That Summer the 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Lusitania went down, and Joyce wrote "The White Ships and 
the Red," a splendid poem which has gone nearly around the 
world. One of the editors of the New York Times, with which 
Joyce was connected, in speaking of it at the Memorial 
Service given by the Dickens Fellowship, said that it was an 
assignment, and that Joyce had received Eighty Dollars for it. 
But money had little to do with the spirit which inspired it. 

In letters from the Front, he mentioned one of his short 
poems called "Pennies." That poem was inspired by a baby 
trait, transmitted to his eldest son, that of throwing a coin 
down on the floor, and then hunting till he found it, to his 
great joy. 

And now he is gone, and I have only memories to live on I 
But such memories! Never was a mother better loved than 
I, and never a mother who was a better comrade. I speak in 
all humility, but I know that our congenial tastes made us 
entirely happy when together. I have every letter, save one, 
he ever wrote to me, and my sleeping room is full of his pic 
tures from six months to thirty years. 

I have been privileged to attend some of the memorial 
services given in his honor. The Memorial Mass in St. 
Patrick s Cathedral will always remain with me as a beatific 
vision. It seemed as though the great Catholic Church opened 
Her arms wide and said: "All this pomp and splendour I 
gladly give to dear Joyce Kilmer, who found his greatest com 
fort in his brief life with Me." 

The Poetry Society, the Dickens Fellowship and Columbia 
University all have held memorial meetings in his honour, 
but the Requiem Mass came first, and will always be the first 
in my recollections. 

The other day I attended the first reception of the season, 
given by the Authors Club, where he had been the youngest 
member.^ And as I sat at my table pouring tea I fronted the 
service flag of the club with its one gold star my son! 

Several memorials have been made to him ; one a furnished 

10 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



private room in St. Peter s (Catholic) Hospital, in New 
Brunswick, N. J. A plate on the door of the room bears this 

inscription : 

Pro Deo et Patria 

In Memoriam 

Sergeant Joyce Kilmer 

Killed in Action 

30th July, 1918 

in France 
Given by his Mother. 

Two beds (in perpetuo) have been given to the Crippled 
Children s Home in New York City. One of the beds was 
designated for him, the other for his child, Rose Kilburn 
Kilmer, who was a victim of infantile paralysis. 

A painted photograph of Joyce in uniform taken just 
before he sailed by Aime Dupont together with one of his 
poems in manuscript have been placed in the Authors Club, 
while a large framed photograph has been given to the Dickens 
Fellowship, and to the Delta Upsilon Fraternity of Columbia 
University. 

One of Joyce s poems "Trees" has been more quoted than 
almost any other. 

The Bird and Tree Club of New York City has a card with 
the coloured figure of a little French girl standing under a 
quince tree. On a grey stone are the words of "Trees," 
with "Joyce Kilmer, 30th July," and above it the words, "I 
am planting a tree in France for you," with a space for a 
donor s name. The proceeds of the sale of these cards go to 
plant fruit trees in devastated France, and many thousands 
of dollars have been raised for that purpose. 

I have set "Trees" to music. It may be of interest to say 
that I have also composed the music to a number of Joyce s 
shorter poems "Lullaby to a Baby Fairy," "Song of Terre 
d Amour," "Gifts of Shee," "The Valentine" (which he 
wrote for me the Summer of 1914), and the "Yellow Gown," 

11 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



all published in London. The words of the last we wrote 
together, as I had composed the tune originally for "Stars," 
a poem in one of his books of Verse, but he thought it too lively, 
so "The Yellow Gown" was evolved. It has been sung in 
public a good deal, and has met with some success. 

I hope no one reading these imperfect recollections will 
think that I mention these songs for my own aggrandizement 
which is farthest from my thoughts. I simply refer to them 
to show how close was the bond between us, and how I cannot 
be sad or despondent all the time when I have such a store 
of rich memories to fill my lonely aching heart. 

At one of the many memorial meetings given in his honour 
a clever Scotch actor a Mr. Herron recited a poem de 
scribing a Pacifist and a Mother who had lost her son in the 
war. I cannot recall the exact words, but in the last stanza 
the Pacifist says: "But he did not come back!" And the 
Mother says: "No, but Thank God he went!" 

My son was awarded the posthumous honour of the Cita 
tion of Valour and the Croix de Guerre by the French Republic, 
both of which have been sent to his widow. But with the 
warm generosity which one might expect from that most 
chivalrous Country, and as an especial favour, a second Croix 
de Guerre has been sent to me, through my friend Major 
(Count) de Maleche of the French Embassy. I am most 
proud to wear it with my French flag and my service pin, 
whose blue star miraculously turned to gold two days after 
I received the news of my son s glorious death. 

I do not claim to be like the Spartan mother, who told her 
sons when going to battle to return to her bearing their shields 
or upon them, but I do claim to be the very proudest mother in 
all the world because Sergeant Joyce Kilmer was and is my son. 



12 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



MEMORIES IN VERSE 

The following are given, not for their worth as Poems, but 
rather to show the throbbing of a mother s heart. The 
Verses entitled "The War Mother" was very favorably com 
mented upon by Joyce in his letter of May 15, 1918 (printed 
elsewhere in this volume). 



THE WAR MOTHER 
Written in April 1918 

The days are heavy, and the nights are long: 
My boy, now grown to be a man, is gone! 
I dream of him, a little lad once more 
And dreaming, wait for him beside the door. 
I see him coming, clasp him in my arms ; 
Then wake to feel the woe of War s alarms. 

Refore his lips could utter words to me, 
His eyes, so full of baby mystery, 
Would look into my own, intent and sweet, 
And I would hold him close, his love to greet. 

On that last day before he sailed for France, 
The same look in his eyes was like a Lance 
Through my poor mother-heart, For well I knew 
Not au revoir was meant, but sad adieu. 

Dear Mother Mary, look with pity down 
On these Thy daughters sad, who wear the crown 
Of Martyrdom for pangs they will not own ; 
And force their lips to smile that hide a moan. 
13 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



THE SERVICE FLAG 

My Service Flag, with bright red rim and tiny star of blue, 
Was given me by my dearest one, before he said adieu. 
And as each day I pinned it o er my yearning Mother s heart, 
I prayed that he might never know, how hard it was to part. 

And every day I wrote to him, gay letters full of cheer, 
Telling him how I d learned to knit, and that he must not 

fear 

That I was sad and lonely, for I sang his songs each day, 
And lived the life I used to live, though he was far away. 

The dreary Winter days came on, and still my heart was 

strong 
And though I missed him, Oh! so much! and could not help 

but long 

To see his dear brown eyes again, and hear him speak to me, 
I knew in God s own time, at last, we would united be. 

When Summer came, and all the land was full of warmth and 

bloom, 

The dreadful news was given me, Alas! that day of doom! 
"Sergt. Joyce Kilmer, Killed in Action." Could the news be 

true? 
"Yes," my mother heart made answer, "hope and joy are dead 

to you." 

But my Service flag I ll wear while my weary life shall last- 
On a bow of sable ribbon then I pinned it sure and fast, 
When my sad eyes looking downward, on the flag so dear to me, 
I beheld a star of gold where the blue one used to be. 

So I wear my Service flag, with red rim and golden Star, 
And I think perhaps my Darling was allowed to place it there; 
God is good, and knows how sorely Mothers hearts must 

always ache, 
And my Service flag still comforts, though my sad heart will 

not break. 

14 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



TO MY BOY WHO LIES IN FRANCE 

Are you lonely, Dear, beneath the shining Lilies? 
Do you miss the tramp of marching feet all day? 
When the 69th had left you for the Home-land, 
With their bright young faces resolute and gay 

Did you think "My mother, longing for my presence, 
Cannot bear to see my Comrades marching by 
Through the streets where she and I had often lingered, 
In Manhattan, underneath its bright blue sky. 

"Ah! My mother s heart was always beating for me, 
And she never cared for aught when I was near 
Now the stormy, stern Atlantic rolls between us 
But her soul is with the Poppies over here." 

Oh! My darling, rest in quiet neath the Lilies, 
God is good, and gives me courage for your sake! 
For the mother of a Hero should not falter, 
And the bitter cup He gives me, I will take. 



15 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 






BIRTHDAY, AND OTHER POEMS 

For a number of years my son always wrote me a poem for 
my birthday. In 1915 I teased him about the one written 
for that year, saying it sounded as if he had written it on his 
cuff in the train on his way to his office in the New York 
Times, so he wrote me another one for that year. The last 
one, written while he was at the 7th Regiment Armory, I was 
unfortunate enough to lose. 

The poem "To my Mother," was a dedicatory one in his 
second book of verse "Trees" and "Other Poems." "Folly" 
(for A. K. K.) in the same book, was written for me while 
I was in England, and shows the tender playfulness with 
which he always regarded me. 

The Summer of 1914 I was, as usual, in England, and 
though I was in no difficulties or fear of my return voyage, 
being in the English countryside, I was, of course, delighted 
that Mr. Kilmer proposed Joyce should come over for me. 
On the voyage over he wrote the poem "Mid-Ocean in War 
Time," "For my Mother." This poem and "The New School" 
"For my Mother," were both published in his third book 
of verse "Main Street and Other Poems." 



16 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



TO A. K. K. 

August the fourth 
Nineteen Hundred and Eleven. 



Now the English larks are singing, 

And the English meadows flinging 

Scarlet flags of blazing poppies to the fragrant summer air, 

And from every tower and steeple 

All the wondering English people 

Hear a chime of fairy music, though no bell-ringers are there. 

What has caused this jubilation? 

Days ago the coronation 

Went with jewelled pomp and splendour to the country of the 

past. 

Is the land some Saint s day hailing? 
Or has some tall ship gone sailing 
Through the hostile fleet to triumph, with the Union at her 

mast? 

Nay, it is no war-like glory, 
Nor pale saint, of ancient story, 

That has made the island blossom into beauty rare and new. 
We in this sea-severed nation, 
Share with England our elation, 

As we keep this feast, your birthday, and are glad with love 
for you! 



17 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



"WHITE HORSE" OF KILBURN 
To A. K. K. on her Birthday, 1912 

Last night the beat of hoofs was heard upon the shaded street, 
It broke the silent brooding of the peaceful country-side ; 

I looked and saw a horse that stamped its terrible white feet, 
A giant horse, as white as flame, long maned and starry eyed. 

"Who is this monstrous visitant?" said I, "Bucephalus? 

Or Rosinante, looking for another crazy knight? 
Or (not to be conceited) may it not be Pegasus? 

This mighty horse, this glowing horse, so beautiful and 
white." 

He proudly tossed his noble head, and neighed "Across the 

foam 
My stable lies, with clouds for roof, and mountainous green 

walls; 

I come to take your message unto Her, who near my home 
Will hold her birthday feast before another evening falls." 

"Go back, Horse," I said, "and seek your pleasant dwelling- 
place, 

And here s a gift for you to take, I trust it to your care; 
Support this heavy load of love until you see her face, 

Then humbly kneel before her feet and lay my homage 
there." 



18 







ORIGINAL COPY OF BIRTHDAY POEM, 1914 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



FOR A BIRTHDAY 
To A. K. K., 1913 

England, England, put your veil of mist away! 

Dress in green with poppies in your hair. 
England, England, let your birds sing holiday. 

Let your lanes be jubilant and fair. 
She is made of singing, therefore hail her with a song, 

Strew her path with loveliness and crown her with delight 
Golden hours of joy and beauty these to her belong, 

Everything that lives today must own her gentle might. 
England, England, now the jocund feast is here 

Now is time for frolicing and mirth. 
England, England, now another turning year, 

Brings the day that celebrates her birth! 



To My Mother on Her Birthday, 1914 
With a Book of Poems 

Gentlest of critics, does your memory hold 

(I know it does) a record of the days 

When I, a schoolboy, earned your generous praise 
For halting verse and stories crudely told? 
Over those boyish scrawls the years have rolled, 

They might not bear the world s unfriendly gaze, 

But still your smile shines down familiar ways, 
Touches my words and turns their dross to gold. 

Dearer to-day than in that happy time, 

Comes your high praise to make me proud and strong. 
In my poor notes you hear Love s splendid chime 

So unto you does this, my work belong. 
Take, then, this little book of fragile rhyme ; 

Your heart will change it to authentic song. 
19 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



To An Adventurous Infant 
On Her Birthday, August 1915 

"England," she said, "is surely England yet; 

Therefore it is the place where I should be. 

In spite of war, I know that tea is tea, 
A vinaigrette is still a vinaigrette." 

"Why should I worry over Wilhelm s threat?/ 
And thereupon she said goodbye to me, 
And gaily sailed across the dangerous sea, 

To where, among the Zeppelins, tea was set. 

What if the sea foam mountainously high 

With waves that had in Hell their fiery birth? 

What if black peril hover in the sky, 

And bursting shell wound deep the trembling earth? 
All evil things must harmlessly pass by 
He who doth bear the talisman of Mirth. 



To My Mother, October, 1915* 

There fell a flood of devastating flame 

On half the world, and all its joy was dead. 
The sky was black, the troubled sea was red, 

And from all mouths a lamentation came. 

But you, in calm and hurricane the same, 

Went with gay lips, brave heart and unbowed head. 

What was the charm, from which all danger fled? 

What did you say, what cabalistic name? 

It was my love that sent its quickening breath 
On all the waves that bore your ship along. 

My love held out, against the flying death, 

That clove the sea, a shield than steel more strong, 

Bringing you back, where no war harrieth, 
Stars in your eyes, and in your heart a song. 



*Note this poem was written as a second birthday poem for 1915, because I had criticized 
the first birthday poem. 

20 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



To A. K. K. 

August Fourth, Nineteen Sixteen 

The Berkshire Hills are gay 
With a gladder tint to-day, 

And Mount Graylock rears his mighty head in pride. 
For the lady that they knew 
Long ago, to them is true, 

And has come within their shadow to reside. 

And across the troubled sea, 
Yorkshire hill and Cambridge lea, 

Send their love to you by every wind that blows. 
And a greater love than these 
Hurries northward on the breeze 

From the little hills they call the Ramapos. 



21 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



VALENTINES 

It was my son s custom always to remember St. Valentine s 
Day by either a picture of a heart drawn and colored by his 
childish ringers, or some little verse. These I still treasure 1 
In later years he sent me many beautiful Valentine poems, 
one of which I set to music and had published in London. 

The last Valentine I was never to receive, though he sent 
me a cable in February, 1918, saying, "Your Valentine will 
be late, but you ll get it!" Later he wrote he was sending it 
the next day, but it never reached me. So many letters were 
lost in that most trying time! 

VALENTINE 

(date unknown) 

Red is the rose 

you love the best. 
Red are the rubies 

in which you re drest. 
Red is the richest 

mellowest wine 
And red is my heart 

your Valentine. 



TO YOU, 1908 

Devotion, never ending 
And courage, ever mending 
These two, together blending 
Belong always to you. 
I give you my devotion 
In calm or in commotion, 
As deep as is the ocean 
And as the stars are, true. 

22 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1912 

She has dainty silken gowns, 

Purples, scarlets, blues and browns 

She has flashing jeweled circlets to adorn her pretty hair. 

She has ribbons, scarves and rings, 

Vinaigrette and other things, 

And to find a new gift for her drives a person to despair. 

On Saint Valentine his day 

I have made my eager way, 

Through the rich and splendid counters of Dan Cupid s 

famous mart, 

There was no gift I could buy 
So I guess I ll have to try 
To content her with a simple thing it s nothing but my heart. 



VALENTINE 1913 

I will send my heart to England, and will make it learn to act 

Like a vacant minded vicar, or a curate full of tea. 

I will make my heart talk Cambridgese, or Yorkshirish, in fact, 

I will make it be as British as a human heart can be. 

I will dress my heart in roses, roses red and ever gay, 

I will steep my heart in scarletest of wine. 

I will teach my heart to bow, and smile, and sing, and dance 

and play 
Just to make you take it for a Valentine! 



23 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



VALENTINE TO MY MOTHER, 1914 

The English meadows call her, and the streets of London Town, 
And the pleasant little villages under the Yorkshire hills. 

She can see the roads, like ribbons white, that stretch across 
the down, 

And the great slow turning sails of sleepy mills. 

She longs for stately mansions, in whose eaves the pigeons coo, 
And she longs for yellow corn-fields, where the scarlet 
poppies shine, 

She loves the folk of England, and, of course, they love her too 
But she lingers in America to be my Valentine. 

(Set to music by A. K. K. and published in London) 



VALENTINE, 1915 
TO MY MOTHER SINGING 

Out of the golden valleys of old years, 
You have recalled so many a lovely thing. 

Forgotten splendours glimmer when you sing, 

With their long vanished light of mirth and tears. 

Gay lovers flout their love s delicious fears. 

The proud swords clash for Charles, the rightful King, 
A woman weeps, and turns her "Silver Ring." 

The "Men of Harlech" charge with level spears. 

Yet I, crowned with my crown of vanity, 

Have been more happy when you sang and played 

The songs wherein your art had succoured me. 
As starry note on starry note was laid, 

Then my chained rhymes, by your designs set free, 
Flew heavenward on the radiant wings you made. 

24 







VALENTINE JOYCE KILMER TO His MOTHER. DECORATED WITH 
A RED HEART AND AN ARROW 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



VALENTINE FOR MY MOTHER, 1917 

If some day as you idly turn the pages, 

Whereon my verses are, 
You find a flower where angry winter rages, 

On the black earth a star; 
If in dead words you come on something living, 

Some fair and vibrant line 
It is the message that my heart is giving, 

It is your Valentine. 



25 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



SONGS 



LULLABY TO A BABY FAIRY 

Poem by Joyce Kilmer Set to Music by Annie Kilburn- 

Kilmer 



Night is over: in the clover globes of crystal shine. 
Birds are calling; sunlight falling on the wet green vine. 
Little wings must folded lie; little lips be still 
While the sun is in the sky over Fairy Hill. 
Sleep, sleep, sleep, 

Baby with buttercup hair; 
Golden rays, golden rays 
Into the violet creep. 
Dream, dream deep, 

Dream of the night-revels fair ; 

Daylight stays; daylight stays. 
Sleep, little fairy-child, sleep. 

Rest in daytime, night is playtime, all good fairies know. 
Under sighing grasses lying off to slumber go. 
Night will come with stars agleam, lilies in her hand, 
Calling you from hills of dream back to Fairyland. 
Sleep, sleep, sleep, 

Baby with buttercup hair; 
Golden rays, golden rays 
Into the violet creep. 
Dream, dream deep, 

Dream of the night-revels fair; 
Daylight stays; daylight stays. 

Sleep, little fairy-child, sleep. 



26 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



GIFTS OF SHEE 

Poem by Joyce Kilmer Set to Music by Annie Kilburn- 

Kilmer 

Shee, who weave the moonlight into shimmering white 
strands, 

powerful and tender-hearted Shee! 

While I live at home in plenty or am poor in far-off lands, 

1 Avill thank you for the gifts you gave to me. 

For the silver collar that you wrought me by your magic art, 
For the scarlet Seal that on my mouth you set, 

For the glorious White Flower that you placed upon my heart, 
When the sun and moon shall die I ll thank you yet. 

For around my throat the Silver Collar of soft arms I wear, 
On my mouth sweet lips have fixed the Scarlet Seal, 

On my heart the perfect Flower white of deathless love I bear, 
And these charms, your gifts, ensure my lasting weal. 

Shee, who weave the moonlight into shimmering white 
strands, 

powerful and tender-hearted Shee! 

Though I live at home in plenty or am poor in far-off lands, 

1 will thank you for the gifts you gave to me. 



27 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



THE SONG OF TERRE D AMOUR 

Poem by Joyce Kilmer Music by Annie Kilburn-Kilmer 

Avalon s a pleasant place, full of leaves and singing; 
Birds are there and all the air is sweet with flowers breath, 
Guenevere with love-lit face, knights with harness ringing, 
These at last to joy have passed beyond the Gates of Death. 
But there is a fairer land, greener fields there are, 
Whiter lilies seek my hand beneath a kinder star. 
Avalon may pass away neath the ebbing tide, 
While through Terre d Amour I stray, by my lady s side. 

On Olympus gods recline, Jove who rules the thunder, 
Pallas wise, and she whose eyes like lakes of sapphire seem, 
Hearty Bacchus crowned with vine, lords of light and wonder- 
Ladies gay, these night and day live out a golden dream, 
They are happy folk indeed, splendid mirth they share, 
None the less I have no need to dwell among them there. 
Jewelled hall and silver street weary seem and poor, 
While we walk on joyous feet lanes of Terre d Amour. 

Through the swiftly circling years, ignorant of sorrow, 
Gay we tread while overhead the sky with love is bright. 
What have we to do with fear, who on ev ry morrow 
Hand in hand in love s own land shall wander in delight? 
Terre d Amour about us lies, ever young and green, 
Violets and daisies rise to greet you as the queen. 
Only yesternight a rose breathed this news to me, 
"Ev ry where my lady goes Terre d Amour shall be." 



28 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



THE YELLOW GOWN 

Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief; 
Love it is a happiness, love it is a grief, 
Jeffrey is a grocer, with a pony and a cart, 
Michael is a beggar man, and took away my heart! 

I ve a yellow satin frock made in London town, 
Silken buttons fasten it, I count them up and down, 
Doctor, Lawyer, Merchant, Chief so the rhyming ran, 
Three more buttons to the end, and that is Beggar man! 

Shall I break my mother s heart? Shall I break my own? 
Every day I sit and think, and thus I make my moan, 
Jeffrey s cart may lose a wheel, his pony break a leg, 
But with Michael by my side, I d gladly, gladly beg! 

Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, 

Love it is a happiness, it never is a grief. 

Jeffrey with his pony and his cart may drive away, 

But with Michael s dear blue eyes, I m happy all the day! 



The tune for "Yellow Gown" was composed for "Stars" published in "Trees" and 
"Other Poems," but Joyce not thinking it suitable, the poem "The Yellow Gown" was 
written, Joyce writing the first two, and his mother the concluding stanzas. It was 
published in London. 



29 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN 
(Delta Upsilon Song) 

Words by Alfred Joyce Kilmer, Columbia, 08 
(Old English Air) 

Come, brothers all, your glasses fill, 
And drink this health with right good-will; 
For here s a toast both brave and true, 
Our own beloved Delta U! 

Chorus 

And he that will this health deny, 
Down among the dead men, 
Down among the dead men, 
Down, down, down, down, 
Down among the dead men, 
Let him lie. 



Now, here s to all throughout the land, 
Who in our ranks fraternal stand ; 
Whose aims are high, whose hearts beat true, 
Beneath the royal Gold and Blue! 

And here s a health to ladies fair, 
Who faithfully our colours wear; 
May every blessing wait upon 
The girls of Delta Upsilon! 

Now, brothers, here is one toast more, 
The Delta U s of "Thirty-four," 
Who firm in truth and equity 
Established our Fraternity. 



30 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



RUTGERS PREP SCHOOL 
(Air Old Folks at Home) 

Down where the Raritan is flowing, 

Out to the sea, 

There s where my heart s devotion s owing, 

There is the school for me. 

Famed are her walls in song and story, 

Honoured her name, 

Her sons unite to sound her glory, 

And to uphold her fame. 



Chorus 

Rutgers Prep School, Hall of Learning, 
Other schools above, 
My heart for thee is ever yearning, 
True to the school I love. 



Scarlet and White is waving o er me, 

Floating on high, 

Long has that banner gone before me, 

Gleaming against the sky. 

Proudly its silken folds I cherish 

Sacredly pure, 

Ne er shall it s scarlet splendour perish, 

-Always its white endure. Chorus. 



Joyce Kilmer, 04 



31 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



FOOTBALL SONG 

IP* 

fc By Joyce Kilmer 

(Air Battle Hymn of the Republic) 

Come all ye Rutgers Prep School men and sing our football 

song, 

And swell the mighty chorus that will help the team along, 
Our hearts are true to Rutgers Prep, our voices they are strong, 
For we must win the game. 

Chorus 

Whoop er up for Rutgers Prep School, 
Whoop er up for Rutgers Prep School, 
Whoop er up for Rutgers Prep School, 
For we must win the game. 



The Prep School fellows take the ball and rush it down the field, 
The line before them breaks and runs, they know that they 

must yield, 

And soon we ll score a touchdown and to all twill be revealed 
That we must win the game. 

Now let us join together in the good old Prep School cheer, 
And give it with a hearty will and shout it loud and clear. 
Let s make those fellows in the field aware that we are here, 
For we must win the game. 



32 




CHILDISH VALENTINE TO His MOTHER, DRAWN AND COLOURED BY 

HAND 



RUTGERS COLLEGE 

PREPARATORY * SCHOOL. 



TAKttf .. 

A8SKST 




WrV*^iVv x**. 



Xf 



fit 



\< tl. 



77 ., 



-t Jt, 



% 

/ 

7? 



REPORT OF STANDING IN PREPARATORY SCHOOL 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



LETTERS 

A word of explanation may be of interest as to the heading 
of these letters, which I have not cared to change. Even 
before my son outgrew me in stature, it was his custom to 
treat me with a playful condescension, as though I were his 
junior. He always addressed me as "Infant," and every 
letter began, "Dear Brat," using the word in the old English 
sense of "Child." 

"Oh Israel! Oh! household of the Lord! 
Oh Abraham s brats, Oh brood of blessed seed!" 

Gascoigne. 

And Aldrich says in one of his poems 

"The brat that tugged at his mother s gown." 

He had a habit of neglecting to put a date on his letters, 
hence many that have appeared are without date. 



1906 

MRS. KILBURN-KILMER I will be delighted to have you 
attend service at 5 in the church today. 

Do the responses loudly, and wait for me after church. 
Hooray ! 

I remain, Yours Scornfully, 

ALF. J. KILBURN-KILMER. 
Official representative of the Kilburn familee. 



(The foregoing was an invitation to hear him read the service in 
Christ Church when he was lay reader. A.K.K.) 

33 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1906 

ADMIRABLE BRAT The coupe for this evening has been 
ordered, and will come at twenty minutes before eight. Six 
large juicy white pinks for you, six pink ones for the small 
Murray child, and some cheap and ridiculous flowers for 
Sflager have been ordered and will arrive opportunely. 
Wortman and his female will be here delightedly at half past 
five, so will I and the despised Constance. 

Behold your Glee Club tickets! Murph asked after your 
health tearfully. I lunched today at Viereck s luxuriously 
with Raymond Ashley, Delta U. Rutgers 03, now an in 
structor at Yale. He wants to meet you. Hooray! 

Stover will leave the blue and gold ribbon here this after 
noon. 

Wash your face, pull up your socks, and put a minute red 
rose in your hair. You will look cute! You must dance 
tonight! Hooray! 

I now go to help Mrs. Payson and Gies fix up the Delta 
U. House for the dance, and to go thence to Metuchen. 

JOYCE KILMER. 



1907 

DEAR BRAT I am not soused, but writing on my knee in 
the train, which renders my chirography slightly irregular. 

Please bring my two Physics note books. They are in 
the top drawer of the reception room desk. I must have them. 

I will appear for luncheon Tuesday at 12.15. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



34 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Lake View House, Gale, N. Y., June 10, 1908 

DEAR BRAT We stayed over at the Manhattan last night, 
and took the 8:30 from the Grand Central this morning 
the Empire State Express. We arrived here at about 8. 
It is a nice place, the table is fine, and our bungalow is very 
nice. 

In the excitement of our escape, neither Aline nor I bade 
goodbye to my father or Mr. Alden. Please explain it to my 
father. And please send me my fairy story which is in 
pencil on paper in the dining room bookcase, also my tooth 
brush, and a package of typewriting paper I left in Schussler s, 
and some note paper. 

How did the Socialist meeting come off? 

Be a good child, and write nice letters. You certainly 
looked cute last night. Aline sends love to you and my father. 
Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

(This letter was written the day after his marriage. This and tha 
other letters from Gale were written while on his wedding trip. A.K.K.) 



Lake View House, Gale, N. Y., June 11, 1908 

DEAR BRAT I have not heard from you yet, but I never 
theless write. My trunk has not come yet, so I have no ad 
dressed envelopes. 

We saw a deer last night, tonight a doe and a fawn. This 
is a delightful place altitude about 2500, forests all around 
the house, a nice lake. We have a row boat for our own 
private use. The bungalow is very nice one good-sized 
room, with a wood stove and a broad piazza with chairs and 
a hammock and a desk. The food is excellent think of 
brook trout and wheat cakes for breakfast! 

Well, be a good child, and write soon. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

35 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Lake View House, Gale, N. Y., June 12, 1908 

DEAR BRAT My trunk came today, so I have stamped 
envelopes to write to you. I have not heard from you yet. 
Vile infant, I thought you were going to write daily! 

Mrs. Corbin has sent me a hammock which reminds me! 
For Heaven s sake, send me my typewriter! I meant to 
send out swarms of manuscript this summer, but I cannot do 
so without my typewriter. If with it you will put my tooth 
brush and writing paper and a few of my flannel shirts, and 
send them to me express collect, I will be much obliged. 

I hope you and my father are well. I will write to him 
tomorrow. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



Lake View House, Gale, N. Y., 1908 

DEAR BRAT I have received one letter from you and have 
written daily. Today came a rather irate letter from my 
father. 

However, it is a fine day. But I wish I had secured my 
bathing suit before I left. Still, I manage to swim occasion 
ally, wearing Mr. Gale s overalls. 

Letters only take about a day to get here, but they take 
the Deuce of a while to leave. One mail a day at 5 :30 P. M. 
goes to the station at Childwold from the post office here, 
which is a little store kept by Mr. Gale for the convenience 
of the guides, hunters and fishermen. Then the mail goes 
out from Childwold sometime next day. 

Well, don t forget to send my typewriter. Remember me 
to Ida. With love for you and my father, I remain, 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

36 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Gale, 1908 

DEAR BRAT I was glad to get your letter about the re 
ception at Mrs. Payson s it was an amiable letter from an 
amiable infant. Also I was glad to receive the Home News 
and Times the wedding certainly had a large write-up. 

Deer are numerous here; when we were out on the lake 
last night we saw four. Also we have brook trout every day. 

It s rather hot, and I think there will be a storm. It s 
always cool evenings here. 

By the way, will you please send me a bathing suit? I 
forgot to get one 36 in. chest. Just trunks and a shirt will 
do. Send me the bill and I ll pay you by next mail. These 
mosquitoes bite vilely before a storm. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



Gale, N. Y., 1908 

DEAR BRAT I hope you have a large time on board the 
Mesaba. Wear a good deal of red, and raise Heck with all 
the crew from the skipper to the stokers. Cut out any other 
skirt that dares to flare alongside. Wash your face daily 
and you will overcome all rivals. 

As I write there is as much moisture about me as there will 
be about you when you read. It is raining the mountain 
we live on is cloud-covered and -the forest is dripping and the 
lake is as usual considerably moist! Well, enjoy yourself, 
Brat! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



37 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Gale, N. Y. 

DEAR BRAT By the time you get this you will be at the 
coast of England. I hope they have sense enough to send 
this letter down to the boat. Aline wishes a rubber stemmed 
dark briar pipe brought her from England. She wishes the 
wood to be thick and flawless, the stem to be of hard rubber, 
curved. She is too shy to ask for it herself, so I do so. 

If in the course of your wanderings you happen to see Mr. 
Bailey, you might tell him about the poem I wrote for him, 
and tell him I ll send him a copy sometime. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



Gale, N. Y., 1908 

DEAR BRAT I don t know what part of England you will 
be in when you get this letter. Cleveland is dead. Taft 
and Sherman are nominated for President and Vice-President 
on the Republican ticket, and Aline s bathing suit has come. 

I ordered your present today. It is to come from London, 
and is something I selected long ago, but could not then buy. 
I think you will like it; you will get it on your birthday. It 
is very Red! and otherwise also amiable. 

I hear from my father occasionally. He appears to be 
existing excellently. Constance is at Lake George. The 
bathing suit you sent me is fine. We go bathing a good deal, 
as the water is warm and the bank gently sloping, so that you 
go several rods before the water reaches your shoulders. 

Well, I must catch this mail, so I can t write any more 
now. Be a good infant. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

38 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Gale, N. Y., 1908 

DEAR BRAT I have not yet heard from you, but I have 
sent several letters which I hope you received when you 
landed. As to your present but I suppose you will get this 
letter before your birthday. The large present is the one 
I wanted to give you, but my father insisted on having it 
come from him too, and paying for part of it. I hope you 
like it ; in fact, I know you will. 

Do you think I will look amiable with a beard? I am 
horribly sunburned, and my razor was dull, and Aline, to 
escape being beaten with an axe whenever I shaved and hurt 
myself, at length regretfully said I could stop shaving until 
we went to Morristown. So I have stopped shaving. I am 
a dull brick-red in color, and since I have ceased shaving, 
patches of dark green hair have appeared at intervals on my 
chin. It is a pleasant sight. However, I have gained in 
weight and am in fact becoming very fat. 

I received a letter from Morristown today about my 
work, telling me the names of the books I was to use, and so 
forth. 

Remember me to all my friends you see. I will send you, 
before long, a copy of "Rose Grey" to send Mr. Bailey, or 
to give him, if you see him. 

I am at work on a play now a sort of a morality, like 
Every Man, but laid in modern times modelled on Maeter 
linck and Fiona Macleod. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



39 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Lake View House, Gale, N. Y., July 10, 1908 

DEAR BRAT Being the son of my father, I forgot to put 
the Delta U. employment agency pamphlet in the last letter, 
in which I said it was enclosed. However, I enclose it now, 
and a newspaper clipping about our little Howard. By 
the way, did he graduate this June? Your letters were 
suspiciously silent about his graduation. 

Here is a translation of a Latin love song which I have 
made. I hope you appreciate it. 

If you were a buttered chameleon 
And I were a spoonful of tea, 
And I should attract your attention 
And you sate your hunger on me, 

And I should give you indigestion 
And you die all over the floor, 
Should I go to Heaven, I wonder, 
Or merely exist no more ? 



Since last writing to you, I have received a letter from a 
fellow named Compton I knew at the University. His 
aunt (whom I met at the class day dance) is interested (as 
a stockholder) in a private school for boys in Plainfield, and 
secured for me the position of English master at $700 per 
annum. Of course, I wouldn t take it pay too small, and 
no prestige but it s nice to have these offers. 

Well, I must catch this mail. Your amiable letters from 
the boat came today. Wear red and wash your face daily 
and you ll be all right. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



40 




JOYCE KILMER IN THE CHARACTER OF Sidney Carton, 
WITH His MOTHER AS Madame Lefarge (DICKENS 
"TALE OF Two CITIES"), AT FANCY DRESS RECEPTION 
HELD BY DICKENS FELLOWSHIP, 1907 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Gale, N. Y., 1908 

DEAR BRAT I have had only one letter from you since you 
left America the one written when you were about to land. 
However, my father sent us a swarm of amiable young letters 
you had sent him, and I enjoyed them very much. You 
evidently had a large time aboard the ship. The letters de 
scribing the journey to High Kilburn the messenger boy and 
Salvation Army girl episode reminded me of Sterne pretty 
good! But then you have acquired a certain knack of de 
scription from my instructions. 

Aline is making raspberry jam. Pray for it, for it is in 
tribulation. It is being made on a wood fire, which occasion 
ally blazes up, and occasionally goes out. We picked the 
berries this morning. She is going to put up some black 
berries and some huckleberries, and has expressed insane 
desires to make mixtures after your manner. I curb her with 
difficulty and an axe. 

However, I enclose "Lizette," for you to give or send to Mr. 
Bailey, and some more poetry for your delectation and 
improvement. 

We would like to hear from you more often ! ! Cut out 
raising Heck awhile and chronicle your adventures for us! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



41 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Gale, New York, 1908 

DEAR BRAT This will probably be the last letter I will 
write you from Gale, for we are going to New Brunswick to 
visit at 147 for a week or so. As soon as we find a cheap 
mansion in Morristown, and get it furnished, we will probably 
move in. 

For a long time we did not hear from you, but I continued 
to fire off letters. A day or so ago came a pipe, two letters, 
and a swarm of amiable post-cards, one of which had the nerve 
to curse me bitterly for not writing! It is curious that you 
should be visiting places where Sterne had lived, just when I 
was reading the letters you wrote to my father (which he sent 
me) and noticing their strong flavor of Sterne. You should 
read "The Sentimental Journey." You would enjoy it, I 
know. It s not so well known as some of Sterne s stuff, but 
I like it best. The pipe is amiable I never saw one of those 
patent pipes I liked so well. It. didn t burn my tongue when 
I "broke it in," as most pipes do, and I am with difficulty 
restrained from smoking it at meals and when in swimming. 
Much obliged! 

However, I wonder how we will get along when visiting 
my parent in New Brunswick. I think to make myself 
agreeable, I will demand booze with all my meals, will read 
the Smart Set aloud, and invite Seaumas O Shiel out for a visit. 

Don t forget to give or send "Lizette" to Mr. Bailey. 

I am much obliged for your letters, all of which I guess 
I ve received, and wish they were more numerous! 

I enclose some poetry. 

Your affectionate son, JOYCE. 



42 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



NAIADS 

In the sunlight softly showing, 
Maiden forms are whitely glowing 
Magic maidens wrapped in gleaming, 
Robes of light are streaming, streaming 
Over rocks and mosses splashing, 
Ever singing, ever dashing 
Silver clouds on high! 

And their haunting, ceaseless singing 
Through my maddened brain is ringing, 
For they sing not love nor laughter, 
Know not life nor what comes after. 
Only know the poet s pleasure, 
For they win his dearest treasure, 
Make sweet sounds and die I 



New Brunswick, N. J., Aug. 4, 1908 

DEAR BRAT Many large returns of today. I will oscu 
late and smite you the requisite 26 times when I see you! 

I received an amiable letter from you yesterday. God 
have Mercy on Harold, and on all Christian souls. Deal 
gently, good man-destroying infant, with the simple Yorkshire 
lads. They are but mortal. However, you seem to revel in 
the carnage. Did you send my poem about "Lizette" to 
Mr. Bailey? 

I hope you liked your birthday present. I have another 
one for you, which I will give you when you return, as I can t 
post it conveniently. It is red, but further I will not state. 

I am writing a series of articles for Red Cross Notes on 
the "Psychology of Advertising." My father is at the dinner 
of the Directors of Johnson & Johnson at present. 

Aline is experimenting in cookery. She has made biscuits, 
cookies and corn pudding, and is going to put up some peaches. 
Yours enthusiastically affectionately, JOYCE. 

43 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1908 

DEAR BRAT Hail! But do not, for the love of Heaven, 
carry that stick! You are expected immediately in Morris- 
town let New Brunswick go to the Deuce! We have an 
amiable young house, and a room for you, red and white, as 
much as possible. You are expected to stay here for some 
years, and if you attempt to leave, your stick will be broken 
into seven pieces. 

Cold weather. However, you must visit the school. I 
have in all about one hundred pupils. 

The pipe you gave me is broken in now, and is delectable. 

In the Morristown Local of the Socialist Party we have 
one doctor, one aristocrat (Arrowsmith, late of Seabury & 
Johnson) and the local Baptist minister. 

Hoping immediately to see you, I am, 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



1909 

DEAR BRAT Congratulations on the Dickens book from 
Kain! 

We have made a window seat in the dining room, and 
covered it with the red piano cover. The blue portieres are 
hung in the dining room alcove, and some of the lace curtains 
upstairs. 

I have finished my fairy story that I started last summer, 
and written my bullfight story. I have to deliver an address 
on the 29th on "The College Man and Beligion." It is a 
large opportunity. The scene is to be South St. Presbyterian 
Church. By gad I will give them Heck! I may be mobbed, 
but I will have an enjoyable evening. 

We were naturally disappointed that you didn t come 
Thursday. Come out this Thursday, or have your face 
stepped on. Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

44 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1909 

DEAR BRAT Much obliged for the Post, with picture of 
Deacon Hill shrinking from a bath, for the Home News and 
for the candy. The candy was darn good I never ate any 
grape fruit peel candied before, and like it much better than 
candied orange peel. 

We have an excellent chance for renting the house. 

Also much obliged for the Smart Set. It was a very good 
number. I suppose you have seen my poem in the current 
number of Moods. I have about a dozen mss. out now, and 
hope to place some soon. Please tell my father that his mss. 
is corrected, and will leave here tomorrow, with a batch of 
stuff for Red Cross Notes. 

I have sent in my name to Pratt s Agency for a new job 
next year to be on the safe side, but Miss Brown says I ll 
probably be reelected here. However, I want $200.00 more 
a year. I am going to try for a job with some N. Y. concern 
anyway, like the Town and Country one I nearly landed. 

Well, be a good brat. I am glad to hear you are in a 
proper state of mind now. Telephone at your convenience! 
Preferably evenings. 

Hoping soon to see you, I am, Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



Thursday, 1909 

HELLO BRAT! I hear you telephoned to me this morning. 
I regret that I was sweetly sleeping at the time. I did not 
have all my evening clothes, and Aline was weary, so we stayed 
home and rested, retiring early. 

This afternoon I worked some, and read some Nicholas 
Nickleby aloud to the children. It is a fine day. I will call 
you up today, Thursday, but I suppose this letter won t 
reach you till after I have telephoned you. 

Be a good child, wash your face daily. 

My poem is half done! and I have just sent off my Psychol 
ogy note to Prof. Wood worth. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

45 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1909 

DEAR BRAT The doctor came today and, after examining 
Kenton, said no further operation was necessary. This is in 
many respects fortunate. 

Will you please give Netty a quarter and say I sent it. 
I ll pay you Friday when you re here. I forgot to tip her 
yesterday, and I can t send a quarter by mail easily. 

It rained just enough to keep down the dust yesterday, and 
we did not get wet. Kenton is well, and occasionally speaks 
of his visit to New Brunswick with much enthusiasm. 

We had a darn good time in New Brunswick. 

The Breeces are astonished at my resplendent attire. 

Come Friday! Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



1909 

DEAR BRAT We ve been waiting for Kenton s picture to 
send you, so there has been delay, but I hope you will get this 
in time for your landing. 

I ve had two offers of principalship one in Hamilton, 
Bermuda, and one in Pompton Lakes, N. J. I probably will 
not go to Bermuda. I went to New York last night to see 
about the Pompton Lakes job, and I think I stand a good 
chance of getting it. 

By now you know of my Memorial sonnet on George 
Meredith, which appeared in last Thursday s New York Sun. 
I enclose copy of it. 

It is very hot here. Kenton is asleep. He looks pretty 
well now; he s not such a bad-looking child. 

I have bought a new book by Kenneth Grahame, called 
"The Wind in the Willows." You remember, you liked his 
"Dream Days" and "The Golden Age" so much. 

There is, of course, still a chance of my going to New 
Wilmington, Pennsylvania, to teach in the college there 
Westminster College it is called. 

We are going to move next Monday. Just address my 
letters Morristown, N. J., until June 25. 

I will write more very soon, but the postman is coming now. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

46 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1909 

DEAR BRAT I received a young letter from you recently. 
I knew you would break your accustomed resolution of isola 
tion on shipboard in fact you do not possess to any remark 
able extent the qualities of a recluse. 

I have had one poem printed since my Meredith sonnet in 
the Sun a quatrain in Moods, a copy of which I enclose. 

Today I received word from Professor Glen Swigget, of 
the University of the South, that he had accepted my poem 
"Prayer to Bragi" and would print it in an early number of 
his magazine, The Pathfinder. This magazine (not to be 
confused with a weekly news magazine of the same name, 
published in Washington) is probably the best sustained 
literary monthly in America, if not in the world. It prints 
nothing but poetry and essays, and numbers among its 
contributors Ludwig Lewissohn, Edith Thomas, Clinton 
Scollard, Henry Van Dyke and others of equal genius. My 
"Prayer to Bragi" is founded on a Norse legend of the origin 
of poetry. I read it to you once, and will send you a copy of 
it when it appears. My sonnet in the Sun has been reprinted 
in Morristown, New Brunswick, Norfolk and Newark 
papers, and has now passed into "Plate Matter," that is, 
into the syndicated "patent insides" that are sent around to 
country newspapers in various parts of the United States. 

I do not know what I will do next year. I hope to get 
literary work of some kind. I have been offered three prin- 
cipalships, two in New Jersey and one in Bermuda, but I 
want literary work, not school teaching. 

Well, be a good infant and write! Letters are preferable to 
postcards. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



47 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Metuchen, N. J., August 7, 1909 

DEAR BRAT Naturally, I was much pleased with your 
enthusiastic praise of my "Ballade of Butterflies." I like it 
myself, and I thought it would appeal to you. 

I have not started work with Funk & Wagnalls yet, as 
the arrangements are still unfinished. I received a letter 
from Town and Country recently, saying that they were sending 
me a book to review, and that they expected to use my services 
more frequently during the coming year. 

I enclose a circular advertising "The Younger Choir," 
a book which is to consist of the work of a number of young 
writers of verse, including myself. Edwin Markham, who 
is to edit the book, wrote "The Man with the Hoe," and is a 
distinguished man of letters. Of the contributors, Viereck, 
Oppenheim and Van Noppen are the best known. Viereck 
is assistant editor of Current Literature, and a poet of some 
distinction. His play, "The Vampire," attracted much atten 
tion in New York last season. It is said that he has the right 
to wear the German Imperial arms with the bar sinister. 
Oppenheim has the entre*e to most of the magazines of impor 
tance. So has Van Noppen, who is a Lowell Institute lecturer. 
My father has ordered two copies in your name. 

I have a rather rare Dickens book for you. It is a Dic 
tionary of the Thames, written by the novelist when he was 
a young journalist. Aline is delighted with the egg and toast 
rack. So am I. So is Kenton. She has a birthday present 
to give you when you get back. I have another present for 
you, too, but I won t tell you what it is. However, it s nice. 
I saw it in New York and thought you might like it. 

We dined with Sflager last night. She sent her love to you. 
She is looking very well. 

I am glad you are having a good time. I think you will 
enjoy next winter while we are in New York. We ll have 
large times! I am at work on a novel. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

48 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



New Brunswick, N. J., 1909 

HELLO BRAT! Hope you enjoyed your birthday. En 
closed find fifteen (the correct number, I believe, with one 
over) enthusiastic embraces and an equal number of severe 
blows upon what may delicately be designated the back of 
your stomach. Kenton eagerly says the same. 

I sent you a red leather portfolio. Use it to write me, imp 
and fiend that you are! Lord, I ve written twenty letters to 
your one this summer! 

We went to the Parkers tea today Aline in her reception 
gown, and I in my grey suit with my stick and new Panama 
hat. 

You remember the poem Rose and Grey" which was sug 
gested to me by Mr. George Bailey s letter? It has been ac 
cepted by The Bang. This magazine is devoted almost 
exclusively to verse, and is edited by Alexander Harvey, who 
is editor also of Current Literature. It is a very high-class 
magazine, and entry to its pages is a thing greatly to be de 
sired. I enclose Mr. Harvey s letter of acceptance. 

Practically every one at the tea asked after you. Miss 
Molt said, "I don t ask if she s having a good time she carries 
a good time wherever she goes!" 

I am darn glad you are sailing sooner than you expected! 
So is Aline! So is Kenton! Kenton wishes an answer to his 
postcard. You will like my Panama hat. It cost five dollars. 
During this hot weather Kenton wears only a band and a pair 
of diapers. He has no teeth. 

Well, be a good brat ! Go to London by all means if you 
get a chance ! And write me a letter for the love of Heaven ! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



49 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1909 

DEAR BRAT This is the eighth letter written since hearing 
from you. Enclosed find a picture of Morristown High School 
faculty. I mentioned it before and meant to send it, but mis 
laid it. I am in the lower right-hand corner. Mr. Morey 
is seated just above me. The other man in the picture is 
Dr. Pierson. He is in the picture because of his position as 
president of the Board of Education. Miss Brown (the as 
sistant principal) whom you met at Lakeside Place, is the 
lady in the centre of the top row. Miss Slack, whom you also 
met, is next to Dr. Pierson. 

I have just this evening concluded some work I have been 
doing for Red Cross Notes. I am now at work on a special 
article for the Literary Digest on the French view of Meredith. 
I will send you a copy of the issue in which it appears. In it 
I make a translation from M. Charles Chasse s article "La 
France dans 1 Oeuvre de Meredith" in La Revue for June 15. 
I will also send you the August Moods and the August Path 
finder, in both of which I have poems "Tribute" and "Prayer 
to Bragi." 

I bought your present in New York yesterday. It is large 
and red, and is coming not by post, but by mail. Try and 
deserve it by writing occasionally in the intervals of wall 
climbing and general raising of Heck. 

Kenton and Aline send love. They are wailing and cursing 
for lack of letters from you. Kenton said last night, "Some 
English infant has cut me out." 

Yours with love, JOYCE. 



50 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



New Brunswick, N. J., 1909 

DEAR BRAT Received an amiable young letter from you 
today. Aline was delighted with her pendant. She has 
recently started to wear black ribbons around her throat and 
she likes the pendant to hang on it. By the way, the red port 
folio was not from Aline and myself, as I have several times 
distinctly stated ! It was from me ! Aline is making a birth 
day present for you, which will be ready on your arrival. 

My work with Funk & Wagnalls does not start until about 
Sept. 10, so temporarily I am working at the factory, making 
a fool book about window displays. God help the druggist 
who decks his window after my suggestions! Speaking of 
God, Arthur Devan called last night. He was much em 
barrassed when Kenton appeared in his nightgown to greet 
him. When he departed, Arthur shook hands with Aline 
and remarked, "Good night, Buster!" immediately turning 
purple and explaining that he meant Kenton, not Aline, by 
this laudatory title. 

I expect to be down to meet you when you return, unless 
my Funk & Wagnalls work has begun then. Even if it has, 
I will see you that evening, for we re going to stay with you 
until October first. I ll commute from New Brunswick to 
New York. 

Kenton is writing you a letter to go by this same mail. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

Fll.be darn glad to get you back home! 



51 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 

New Brunswick, N. J., 1909 

DEAR BRAT McAlister and I did not stay long with the 
Higher Education Association. The magazine was a vision 
ary impalpable thing, not to come into being for some months. 
Meanwhile our work as assistant editors was to consist not in 
preparing copy nor writing anything, but in selling stock, an 
occupation for which we were not particularly fitted or in 
clined. Also, the stock was speculative in the extreme so 
much so that a blind kitten of average discretion would refuse 
to invest therein. Accordingly, especially since we were to 
sell stock on commission, not on salary, we resigned. Mc 
Alister is now a night reporter on the Sun; I have got a job 
with Funk & Wagnalls, the publishers of the Literary Digest. 
My work will begin August 1st, and will consist chiefly of 
preparing articles on modern French literature and reading 
French books submitted to the house for publication. I do 
not know what the salary will be. If I don t like that job or 
if Funk & Wagnalls don t like me I have a chance to enter 
the book department of Scribner s on Sept. 1st. In either 
case we will live in New York, which ought to gratify you. 
We will take you to dinner at the Caf Boulevard, where they 
have an amiable roof garden and a Hungarian orchestra in 
costume, and a man with a mandolin, who sings in Hungarian 
and Italian. 

By the way, try and procure and learn two Italian songs, 
one of which goes "Chimiminimi!" and the other of which 
is called "Finiculi Finicula." The second is about a gravity 
railroad on Mt. Vesuvius. 

Kenton insists on preventing me from sleeping in the 
morning, when left on the bed, by crawling after me and 
punching me. He does not cry much, but he converses 
and laughs loudly all the time. His eyes are brown. Helen 
Hardenburgh thinks he looks like you. 

I enclose a copy of a Ballade I wrote recently, also a pic 
ture of some boys who were in the Morristown High School. 
While I have had several chances to teach school at a good 
salary, I had rather do literary work for smaller pay. 

Be a good infant I Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

52 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



147 College Ave., New Brunswick, N. J., 1909 

DEAR BRAT I received an amiable young letter from you 
recently, and I was darned glad to get it, for I d been feeling 
rotten about not getting any while my father was getting 
a lot. 

I start work in New York a week from Monday with Funk 
& Wagnalls. The tunnel under the river is done now, so I do 
not need to cross by the ferries. This saves a good deal of 
time. I expect to go to New York on business next week 
early. I hope you get your present in time for your birth 
day. Furthermore I hope you like it ! 

I saw the picture Ferguson drew of you. He may be a 
worthy youth, but nevertheless with all deference I beg to 
state that the picture is a damnable caricature and that I 
should enjoy making him eat it. 

Kenton does not cry much but he laughs and shouts loudly, 
waving his arms. He delights to do this mornings when I wish 
to sleep. Furthermore he catches my hair and endeavors to 
rise by means thereof. He took an unlit cigar from me the 
other day and began to eat it. I stopped him, as it was a good 
cigar. 

NOTICE See the pageant at Bath if you get a chance! 
It s going to be especially good. Also, by all means go to 
London ! You will be very foolish if you neglect to. 

Aline and I dined with the Corbins last Wednesday. Sflag- 
er said she had a letter from you and intended to write 
soon. She is looking very well now. She sleeps out on 
a balcony. 

Well, for Heaven s sake, write occasionally I Aline and 
Kenton send Jove! Both will write soon. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



53 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1909 

DEAR BRAT Allow me to remark that this is the fourth 
letter I have written since hearing from you! My Yorkshire 
pipe is accumulating an excellent cake. I am spending most 
of my time nowadays reading French, as my w r ork with Funk 
& Wagnalls will be largely in the line of reading French books 
and manuscripts. 

Kenton is growing considerably human, and sends his 
love. He seems to be fond of Maria, whom he usually has 
with him. He is now out on the porch sleeping in his carriage, 
and secured from flies by means of mosquito netting. 

If you happen to see Mr. Bailey this summer, remember 
me to him. I suppose we ll start in securing a flat in New 
York soon. My office will be 44 West 23rd St., right near 
the shopping district, so it will be easy for you to go out to 
lunch with me when you come to New York. We will go to 
Dorlon s, which is next door to my office, or to Cavanagh s, 
which is only two blocks off, or to the restaurant in the base 
ment of the Flatiron Building, which is on the next corner. 
I have discovered an amiable drink, which I am eager to see 
you consume. It consists of equal parts of French Vermouth 
and Cassis, and is served in a cocktail glass. 

It seems to me you might write to me at least as often as 
you do to my father! I ve written to you certainly as often 
as he has, if not more often. If you didn t get the letters, 
Timpson didn t forward them, that s all, for I ve written every 
week since you left except the week we were moving into the 
boarding house, and the following week I wrote twice. Yet 
my father gets letters every other day, while Kenton and I are 
left in the cold. 

I expect to send your birthday present off the first part of 
this week. I hope you like it it s a present worthy of an 
amiable, intelligent letter- writing infant try to deserve it! 
I am going shares on my father s present to you, but this is 

54 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



a separate, distinct and individual additional present, such as 
no other infant, however worthy, ever received. 

In the next issue of Moods, which appears August 1st, 
I have a poem. I have a poem also in the Pathfinder for 
August. By the way, I told you about the Pathfinder poem 
about a month ago, and you didn t mention it. Do you 
remember receiving the letter? Moods is a large and prosper 
ous magazine now, as large as the Strand, and numbering 
among its contributors Julia Marlowe, George Sylvester 
Viereck, Percy MacKaye and myself. 

Seaumas O Shiel has become a Socialist. 

Kenton wears white woolen socks as a cure for colic. Did 
you ever hear of that remedy? You might try it as a pre 
ventive of seasickness. 

Well, we d be having a darned sight better time if you 
were here. That s straight, and not intended as flattery, for 
in several respects you are an infant worthy of considerable 
enthusiastic approval. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



55 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



125 Wadsworth Ave., New York City, 1909 

MRS. KlLBURN-KlLMER. 

DEAR BRAT Enclosed find a poem which you may perhaps 
like. Next Thursday I am to start translating a Russian play, 
"The Cherry Garden," with a friend of mine who is an exiled 
Revolutionist. He will put it into English and I will revise 
the English. It will then be published as a separate volume 
by Moods Publishing Co. Of course we won t make any 
money out of it, but it will be amusing. 

I am working for Funk & Wagnalls now at $15.00 a week. 
The work is pleasant and the hours are short, and the associa 
tions are most desirable. 

Come out soon! My lunch hour is from 12:30 to 1:30. 
My office is on 23rd Street, right by the Subway. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



New York, Dec. 22, 1909 

DEAR RRAT Don t be an idiot! We decided yesterday 
evening, long before your infantile letter came, that we would 
come to New Rrunswick Friday, Christmas Eve, in time for 
dinner, and stay over night and to dinner next day. One 
advantage of so doing is that Eenton can hang up his sock by 
the gas logs. He has teething rings made out of biscuit. 

If you are a good child I ll give you the nicest Christmas 
present you ever got from me. If not you ll get spanked so 
that you will have to eat your Christmas dinner off the piano. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE 



56 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1910 

MY GOOD INFANT Help! Puff s birthday is the 21st, and 
according to your own statement and our agreement, it is to 
be celebrated not this coming Sunday, but Easter Sunday, 
the 27th! And Aline is to have her new hat finished by that 
date, and her new suit, and I am to wear my Prince Albert 
and perhaps if it s a fine day we will parade to church and 
distract the general attention from Comrade Elisha Brooks s 
sermon. 

You said, "Shall we celebrate Puff s birthday the 21st 
or on Easter Sunday?" I said, "On Easter Sunday, because 
I may get Good Friday and Easter Eve off!" You said, 
"Good." Puff said, "Good indeed." 

And get to the office before 12:30 Thursday. I have a 
new luncheon place and I guarantee the production of King 
absolutely! Will hand you your gift Thursday. 

Say, there may possibly be rather important results from 
an interview I am to have with Charles Thompson, John 
A. Moroso and some other people this Saturday evening! 
But don t say anything about it until I tell you definitely. 
I may leave Funk & Wagnalls for much more desirable work. 
I ll tell you more about it Thursday. 

So, you see, we may spend Good Friday, Easter Eve, and 
Easter Day in New Brunswick. Be a good child! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



57 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 

1910 

DEAR BRAT There is a strike in Philadelphia, so come here 
by 12:30 Thursday, and we will lunch at the Fifth Avenue 
restaurant on Fifth Avenue near 24th St. 

"Jesus and the Summer Rain" was in Sunday s Call. 

Saturday night we had the first meeting of our new maga 
zine staff. Don t say anything about it, or I ll be fired from 
Funk & Wagnalls! I ll tell you all about it when I see you. 

Find out what clothes of mine are in New Brunswick ! 

Puff says you told him he could eat fruit-cake and drink 
champagne at his party. He ate his postcard this morning 
with great satisfaction, before he was detected. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



New York, Oct. 21, 1910 

DEAR BRAT Here is the clipping concerning Simpson. 
We went up to the apartment last night. The Subway was 
blocked, so we took a surface car, which took about two hours. 

That was a very delightful luncheon yesterday. I hope 
you enjoyed Glenzer and the show. 

Yours affectionately, Joyce. 



New York, Dec. 1, 1910 

DEAR BRAT Enclosed find the letter for Glenzer. It is 
a very nice letter. That card I showed was simply an invita 
tion to an evening at the Authors Club, not a membership 
card. I am not eligible to join until I publish a book. 

Tell my father I am collecting the book catalogues he 
required. Come out! Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

58 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1910 

DEAR BRAT Enclosed find poem. The Times gave me 
only $6.00 for "Chevley Crossing," so I have quit giving 

them stuff. L is no longer editor of the Sunday Times, 

and the present occupant of his position probably never read 
any verse before he got his present job. I won t bother with 
the Times at all until the present Sunday editor is fired or 
mercifully killed. 

Barry says he received a charming letter from you. He 
also reproved me for failing to inherit your laugh. Slip, slap, 
slop. 

Let every one pray for the soul of Edward VII. He needs 
it. 

We dined at the Petitpas the other night. There were old 
Mr. Yeats, Eric Bell, Snedden, Kraymborg, Hartpence, Van 
Wyck, Brooks, Aline and myself. Then we went to Henri s 
studio. Norman Poe and Ellen Terry s son and numerous 
other people were there. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



Jan. 3, 1910 

DEAR BRAT My "Butterfly Ballade" was in the magazine 
section of yesterday s New York Times. I had forgotten 
that I had sent it to them. They have in their possession also 
my "King s Ballade," which I suppose they will print soon. 

Be a good child! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



59 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1910 

DEAR BRAT The question is, does the postcard you sent 
my father I got none! represent "Nymph and Swineherd" 
or "The Suffragette and the British Workman"? It is, at 
any rate, an interesting picture. 

I had two bits of verse in today s Times "Love s Rosary," 
which you have seen, as I wrote it last year in Morristown, and 
"Love s Thoroughfare," a recent sonnet. I am sending you 
(by my father, who steams Tuesday) the magazine section of 
the Times containing these verses and also a poem by Shaemas, 
and another by my friend John A. Moroso, of whom I spoke 
to you. 

Puff has asked me to enclose one of his pictures for you. 
He has had rather a hard day, combining indigestion with 
rolling down the porch-steps. He is peacefully sleeping now 
and will be all right tomorrow. 

Puff has a large vocabulary nowadays, and an ingratiating 
manner. He is not reading so much as formerly, however. 

We are going to dinner with my father tomorrow night at 
Luchow s. Then we are going back to New Brunswick, and 
my father will stay over night at a hotel or on the boat. I 
have a number of new pieces of verse to show you when you 
return, and I am looking forward to our Thursday luncheons 
with much pleasure. Also you have a birthday present await 
ing you. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



60 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



June 30 to July 6, 1910 

DEAR BRAT We are going out to New Brunswick in the 
motor car Saturday afternoon. 

Much obliged for insane but amiable group pictures. 
One male god-child of yours is fairly attractive. I don t 
know whether it s a Sharp, a Woolard or a Starling. You 
certainly are looking prosperous. 

We are all recovered now from our various ailments. I 
suppose you are tremendously excited over the Jeffries- 
Johnson fight on July 4th. I will cable you the result collect. 

This letter has been lost for several days. I have just 
found it and will complete it. 

Johnson defeated Jeffries, as I suppose you have heard. 
My sonnet "Court Musicians" was in Sunday s Times. I ll 
send you a copy. We are all out in New Brunswick. 

It is now about the ninth of July. Hereafter I will finish 
my letters at a sitting, as this business of writing at odd 
intervals seems to delay the completion of an epistle indefi 
nitely. 

By way of a mid-summer recreation, I decided to have my 
throat expurgated yesterday, so I had two physicians out to 
remove my tonsils. 

Wait till you see your birthday present ! 

Thank you for the Thrushes. I anticipate their arrival 
with great pleasure. 

By the way, while you are in England, by all means take 
in some of the seashore resorts like Brighton or Folkstone. 
That is a feature of English life, apparently distinctive and 
interesting. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



61 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



September 30, 1910 

DEAR BRAT We went to New York to move our furniture 
into our new apartment, and have just got back. We have 
an apartment with the same number of rooms as before, but 
very much larger, with electric light, and front instead of rear, 
and the rent amounts to only a quarter a month more. It s 
on 184th -Street about as far from the Subway as before. 
You have a large room with very fine golden paper! Take 
advantage of it! Furthermore, you have a present waiting 
for you your birthday present, in fact! 

Puff has been visiting his friend Mollie Campbell in Me- 
tuchen, and returned to New Brunswick today. He is eagerly 
anticipating your return, and intends to start shaving soon. 

The pipe you sent me has two hats now. It smokes 
excellently, and I think the wood will grow darker. You 
certainly showed discretion in the selection of the stem and 
mouthpiece. 

We called on Sflager last Sunday. She is looking well. 

I|wonder if you saw "The Blue Bird" in London. I think 
it must be much better worth seeing than "Chanticleer." 

Your* friend Roosevelt has been elected temporary chair 
man of the Republican party convention. 

I hear that the ladies of London now smoke slender Jap 
anese pipes instead of cigarettes. 

I have written a number of poems that you will see on 
your return. I am going to send some to two London pub 
lications the Spectator and the New Age, both of which 
are very interesting weeklies. 

Well, we ll see you before long. We ll all try to get down 
to the dock to see you land, if we find out when the boat comes 
in, which we probably will be able to do. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



62 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1910 

DEAR BRAT We are on the shore of a very large lake. 
Our cottage is on the side of a mountain. The lake is sur 
rounded by mountains which come right down to the water. 
Last night it snowed, and this morning there is snow on top 
of the mountains across the lake. We have a motor boat and 
several row-boats. We row and walk a good deal. It is 
very cold but we have a big open fire of birch logs. 

The reviews in the New Brunswick papers were very good. 
You are an admirable press-agent. Much obliged! 

The day before I left I was told that Mr. Pickering, the 
head of the illustration department of the Dictionary, was 
leaving because of ill health. Mr. Vizetelly offered me his 
job (Mr. Pickering s, not Mr. Vizetelly s) and I accepted it. 
I have an assistant. I don t know anything about illustra 
tions, but I ll make my assistant do the work. 

I m glad Reed s is going to carry my book in stock. I told 
the Baker & Taylor Co. to write to him. I hope he sells some. 

I suppose the convention is now convening. How ex 
hilarating. Thank you for the watch and for sending Stewart 
Walker the pictures. I hope my father is by this time in 
good health. 

In coming up here we left the boat at Albany. I remember 
visiting some cousins or something there some years ago with 
you. They had a translation of the "Divina Commedia" 
and a humourous connection by marriage. They lived up 
three flights of stairs. Who were they? They had a cat 
and several kittens. 

Kenton is clamouring for exercise, so I guess I ll let him 
row us across the lake to post this letter. 

Be a good infant. I certainly am obliged to you for those 
notices. I will be glad to see you again. 

Aline and Kenton send love. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE, 

63 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1910 

DEAR BRAT I will be very glad to have you with me 
Thursday at 12:30. Get to the office about 12:20 if you can. 
Furthermore, I ll pick out a nice matine e for you to go to. 

Didn t a copy of the January Pathfinder come for me? If 
it did please bring it, and any other mail I may receive. 

Remember that Thursday is the day you re coming I 
have luncheon engagements for Tuesday and Wednesday. 

You were particularly fashionably attired when last you 
appeared. I may introduce you to Mr. King, if he s around 
when you re on hand Thursday. 

I finished the article my father wished, and am sending 
it to him by this mail. 

By the way, Mrs. Trask s play,"The Little Town of Beth 
lehem," is at Madison Square Garden Theatre, not the New 
Theatre. It started a week ago today, that is, the 17th, and 
was scheduled to run only 16 performances. So if you re 
going to it, you d better get busy. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



64 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1911 

DEAR BRAT I have now completely recovered from the 
measles, and am back at work again. Now Kenton has the 
ailment, but we expect he will be well by the time you get this 
letter. I am sending a copy of The Forum, which contains 
Le Gallienne s review of "The Younger Choir," in which he 
pleasantly mentions my Ballade. 

During my illness I asked Aline what time it was late one 
night. For answer she arose, fast asleep, and in the pitch 
darkness handed me the alarm clock and went back to bed. 

If you happen to run across any of the publications of The 
Samaurai Press, of Surrey, will you send me a copy if they 
seem worth while? I think they cost a shilling each. And 
will you please notice what London papers and magazines 
print most verse, and send me their addresses? 

I lunch at the Columbia Club nowadays, and the dining 
room is outdoors on a pavilion now. As it is right in Gram- 
mercy Park, it is very charming. 

Do you hear much of Ezra Pound s work in England? He 
is a young American poet resident in London. I have read 
his two books, which have made some sensation over here. 

Mitchell Kennerly has succeeded Russell Hertz as editor 
of The Forum. Barrie has gone to the country, rejoicing in 
what he called a delightful letter from you. Mr. King is in 
Paris now. 

We are going to Lake George in August, to a cottage be 
longing to Mrs. Spencer Trask, for a couple of weeks. 

Remember me to George the Five. Much obliged for 
the paper with account of Ed s funeral. I am using black 
ink on account of the court mourning. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



65 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



July 8, 1911 

DEAR BRAT I will not apologise for using red ink, as 
I think it has a rather decorative effect. Numerous post 
cards have been received from you by Puff, Aline and myself, 
but no letter for the past eighteen years. You have not yet 
stated whether or not you approved the coronation. Give 
my love to Emily Grigsby, when you are next at court. That 
Grigsby affair is absolutely delightful. I have seen her often 
in New York, and several friends of mine know her well. 
She is a very beautiful and brilliant woman. She certainly 
has fooled the respectable people concerned. 

Puff has been wandering about during the recent hot 
weather clad in his rompers, with no other garment. He 
climbs up and down stairs incessantly, and has developed 
a certain faculty for narrative. 

My book is progressing, as is our song. One of your post 
cards to Aline said that you had made a tune for "Terre 
d Amour." I am, strange to relate, interested in that fact, 
and, remarkably enough, would be glad to have the tune. 

Shaemas has brought out his book, which is very good 
indeed. I think, however, that in form mine will surpass it. 
You will, of course, receive a special advance copy, before 
the others are made. How did you like "Madness"? The 
Digest reprinted it this week from Harper s Weekly, and al 
though you have a copy of the poem already, I am sending 
a clipping to refresh your memory. 

By the way, Aline told you we bought a lot to build a 
house on, didn t she? It s really more accessible than our 
apartment was. We are going to build a house with a large 
fireplace and built-in bookcases, and a bright red room for 
you! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



66 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



July 29, 1911 

DEAR BRAT I think I have told you eighteen times how 
much I liked the books you sent me, but nevertheless I now 
again inform you that they are delightful. Shane Leslie is 
one of the most brilliant of the younger Irish writers, and as 
he has no American publisher, his books are difficult to procure 
over here. The "Anthology of French Verse" is one I have 
never before seen, and is, I think, the best collection of the 
sort that I know. You certainly know how to buy books, 
my good infant. 

By the way, how did you like the birthday poem I sent 
you? And I m going to give you another birthday present 
when you come back, and so is Aline, and so is Puff. And 
you ll have a red room in our new house! I am reviewing 
books for the New York Post. They have printed two, and 
have sent me three more novels to review for the next issue. 
Aline is delighted with the prospect of receiving a sun-dial. 
We have wanted one very much. We shall probably put it 
on a post in the front yard, or fasten it to a great boulder that 
is already there. 

Mr. Guy s poem got through the Customs House all right, 
and was received by us. Reverencing the Cloth as I do, I 
refuse to repeat Puff s comments on Mr. Guy as a poet. The 
mug, however, was admirable. He has two coronation mugs 
now, both china, one from you and one from Mr. Guy. He de 
mands a third, which shall be of enamelled tin, unbreakable. 

I miss our Thursday luncheons very much, and have found 
numerous delightful places where we will eat on your return. 
Also there is an opera coming to New York next winter, to 
which you are to be taken Richard Strauss s "Rosenkavalier." 

I am glad you saw the Coronation Procession, though I 
imagine you re fearfully sick of the affair by now. 

Be a good infant and enjoy yourself. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

67 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



New Brunswick, N. J., 1911 

DEAR BRAT It s about time you wrote me a letter! I 
don t know yet whether or not you received your birthday 
poem. I am enclosing a clipping from The Pathfinder. I 
think you have seen the poem before. It refers to Arthur 
Symons, the great English poet, who is paralysed. He is 
only forty-five years old. 

I read recently in a New Brunswick paper a brilliantly 
written letter from you. It is, I think, the most interesting 
piece of coronation literature I have read. You are certainly 
to be congratulated. I liked the simple and direct way in 
which you treated so elaborate and complicated a spectacle. 
It was a difficult thing to do, and you did it admirably. 

Kenton and I took a walk over the Landing Bridge today. 
He has a large vocabulary, a fondness for narrative, vivid 
humour, and violent curiosity. 

I was very glad recently to receive several books from you. 
"The Skipper s Wooing" is, I think, the best book of Jacob s 
that I have read. I had for a long time desired to read Du 
mas "Black Tulip," and I found it charming. Conan Doyle 
is a comfortable old-fashioned sort of a writer, and I spent a 
very pleasant hour over the "Firm of Girdlestone." The 
Snaith book I have not yet read. Aline found it a most attrac 
tive romance, and so undoubtedly shall I. 

I have been doing some reviewing recently for the Nation, 
a critical weekly, published in New York, somewhat resembling 
the English magazine of the same name. 

Do you like King George as well as you did Edward VII? 
He is apparently a less interesting character. 

Soon I will send you your specially bound advance copy 
of "Summer of Love." The small circular advertising it will 
be out soon, and mailed to the names on the list. I will also 
send you a number of the circulars to distribute from house 
to house and to paste on telegraph poles in London and York. 

68 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



There is a possibility that in your room at Cragmere there 
will be a stationary wash-basin with hot and cold water I 
Would you like that? There are to be built-in bookcases, 
two open fireplaces, a dining porch and a sleeping porch. 
There is a spring on the grounds, and there are mountains 
all around. In fact, the house is to be built on a mountain 
side. Its name is to be Nine Bean Rows, after the poem by 
William Butler Yeats, called "The Lake Isle of Inisfree," 
which contains the lines: 

I will arise and go now, and go to Inisfree 
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made. 
Nine bean-rows will I have there, and a hive for the honey-bee, 
And live alone in the bee-loved glade. 

You are an excellent infant, and write very good letters, 
but you write them with annoying infrequency. 

Enjoy yourself, my child, and bring back a large appetite 
and thirst for your Thursday luncheons. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



69 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



May 21, 1912 

DEAR BRAT Hey, write a letter sometime! We expect 
to move Monday to Cragmere, Mahwah, New Jersey. The 
house isn t finished, but we think that one room will be ready 
for occupation by that time. 

My father is sending you a copy of The International, 
containing "The Ballad of the Brave Wanton." I enclose 
copies of some poems which I think you have not seen. 

My father, Aline and Kenton are in good health. So is 
Rosamonde. 

I hope you are having a good time in England. When do 
you go to Ireland? 

See as many pageants as possible. I ve been reviewing 
the books of some American pageants recently for the Times. 
I will send you copies of the paper containing them. 

Aline, Kenton and Rosamonde send love. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



70 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Mahwah, New Jersey, 1912 

DEAR BRAT Thank you very much for the pipe! I have 
always wanted a carved meerschaum, and this is beautifully 
made. It is beginning to colour already. A part of the ele 
phant s trunk is turning yellow. Eventually the whole pipe 
will be black, except the tusks, which, being made of ivory, 
will remain white. You could not have made a better selec 
tion. 

Aline likes her plaques very much, and will write to you 
soon about them. 

Last night we went to a dance at the home of some friends 
of ours. We can one-step and grape-vine. Aline grape 
vines very well. When you come back I will teach you the 
new dances, unless you learn them while abroad. 

The mountains about here are very interesting. Recently 
I climbed two of them with my friend Richardson Wright, 
who was visiting me. We found on Mt. Houvenkopf an old 
artist and his wife, the only white people for many miles. 
The natives live in log cabins and are called Jackson Whites. 
They are usually cream-coloured, but some of them are black 
and some are copper-coloured. They are of mixed Negro, 
Indian, German, Dutch and Scotch descent, their names being 
chiefly Dutch Van Dick, De Grote and the like. They are 
very amusing people. There is a fine view from the moun 
tains, and the valley between them is full of wild honeysuckle. 
You must climb these mountains this autumn. 

Several postcards and an entertaining letter have come 
from you from Oxford no one knew you were at Oxford. 
The postcards mentioned one "Arthur," your companion in 
much riot. We puzzled over Arthur for days. Finally your 
letter came and Arthur Devan was revealed. 

Enjoy yourself, and occasionally receive a letter! I write 

about twice a week. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

71 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



June 25, 1912 

DEAR BRAT The sending of cables is a wearing occupa 
tion, and I think that the one I sent you yesterday is worth 
10,000,000 letters. 

Your two recent letters were very amusing, particularly 
the description of the picture of the automobile at the New 
Brunswick Boost Week Celebration. 

We are living in Mahwah now. The floor and woodwork 
are not yet stained, and there is no electric light as yet, but 
otherwise we are very comfortable. 

I am glad you liked "Martin" and "Pennies." The former 
did not allude to Martin Chuzzlewit or any other Dickens 
character; it was founded on an old man named Baldwin who 
used to work here. 

I will be glad to have you market the poems in England, 
but this must be done after they have been printed over here. 
Otherwise the American rights are destroyed. I will tell you 
when to send them out. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



72 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



June 27, 1912 

DEAR BRAT Perhaps you would get my letters more 
surely and promptly if you gave me a complete itinerary, 
stating your whereabouts for this summer and autumn. 
Of course your letters state where you are, but you flit about 
considerably. 

We are pretty comfortable in our house now. It is all 
finished except painting and staining. I went fishing Sunday 
and caught a large fat perch. 

What do you think of Roosevelt now? 

The poems mentioned cannot be sold to English magazines 
until they have appeared in American magazines. The fact 
that you sent "Pennies" to The Spectator is all right, but don t 
send any more out until I notify you that they have appeared 
over here. One of them, "A Blackbird and his Mate," will 
probably be ready in a few weeks, and I ll send you a copy 
to send out. 

Send me an Eye Witness, please. Send Kenton a Dublin 
Review, please. Send Aline a box of tobacco, please. Send 
Bosamonde a stick, please, as she hopes to learn to walk. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



73 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Cragmere, Mahwah, New Jersey, July 3, 1912 

DEAR BRAT Perhaps if you send me an itinerary, and 
I send letters to you direct, you will get them more surely. 

Tomorrow is Fourth of July. Mac and James Gray and 
I are going fishing to Round Lake, about twelve miles from 
here. We will take a train. 

I enclose some verses. I will send you soon two copies of 
The International, One containing a poem of mine, "The 
Ballad of the Brave Wanton," and the other containing a letter 
of mine in answer to Leonard Abbott s "Renaissance of 
Paganism." 

When you get a chance please send me some copies of 
The Eye Witness, The Dublin Review, The Spectator, The 
Academy, The Church Times and The Atheneum. 

Puff got stung on the mouth by a bee, but is otherwise in 
good health. He sends his love, and wants wooden shoes and 
a pipe. Aline and Rosamonde also send love. They want 
wooden shoes and a pipe. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



74 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



July 11, 1912 

DEAR BRAT I received a very amusing letter from you 
recently, and a copy of The Spectator. Thank you. I hope 
to receive more copies of The Spectator, also of The Eye Witness, 
The New Age, The Dublin Review, The Academy, The Atheneum 
and The Church Times. 

I sent you today two copies of The International, one of 
them containing "The Ballad of the Brave Wanton," I think 
you received before, but I thought you might like to have 
this copy because it contains an article by Leonard Abbott on 
"The Renaissance of Paganism," which is answered by me in 
the July issue in an article entitled "The Renaissance of Your 
Grandmother." 

Last week I had my tonsils and adenoids removed. I took 
ether, so it was not painful. I went to a very nice private 
hospital near Columbus Circle. 

The postcard of the Wheat Sheaf Inn landlord (I think 
it was the Wheatsheaf Inn) and the figure from the ship are 
very amusing. 

By all means read Chesterton s latest novel, "Manalive." 
I am reviewing it. It is a very delightful book. You re 
member those essays of Chesterton that I got you recently, 
don t you? 

Before long it will be your birthday. Behave yourself, 
and you may get a nice present. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



75 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



July 23, 1912 

DEAR BRAT The music has arrived. I think the printers 
did excellent work. I am very proud to have my verses ap 
pear with such charming music. 

You are supposed to be getting some birthday verses, but 
they will probably not arrive until after your birthday. I am 
going to share in the birthday present you get in England, and 
then when you land you will get three new birthday presents, 
one from me, one from Aline, and one from Kenton. Rosa- 
monde is saving her money to meet the expense of being born. 

Gray says by all means to go to Amplforth Abbey, which 
is a monastery near Coxwold. Several of the monks there 
are friends of his, particularly B. Parker. Gray is one of the 
editors here, whom you met. He is a Yorkshireman. 

I hope you enjoyed the Scarborough pageant. The post 
cards show that you stopped in an attractive appearing hotel. 
By all means drink sherry-cobblers with mint crushed in 
them in hot weather, and mulled port in cold weather. 

I thank you for a large number of Spectators and one Eye 
Witness recently received. Don t you find the Eye Witness 
a delightful weekly? Read Chesterton s "Manalive"; it s 
very good. I hope you enjoy your birthday. Many happy 
returns of the day! You ll get some birthday verses soon. 

Aline, Kenton and Rosamonde send love. 

Affectionately, JOYCE. 



76 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Aug. 9, 1912 

DEAR BRAT Thank you for numerous excellent gifts 
the pipe, which is a very fine briar, of the sort in which I 
especially delight, the "Pepy s Diary," which I have wanted to 
read for a long time, and the Eye Witnesses, Spectators, and 
a Dublin Review. I hope you got your birthday verses and 
that you liked them. Your birthday present you will receive 
on your return. Rosamonde wishes her poem at once! 

Kenton has been somewhat ill, but has recovered. He 
wants a book. I enclose some verses which may interest you. 
My father is going abroad about August 20th, and has invited 
us to stay in New Brunswick during his absence. I do not 
know whether I can or not. I don t want to leave my house 
unoccupied. 

The book of the Scarborough pageant was very interesting. 
Scarborough must be an amusing place. Did you go in swim 
ming? 

Why do you call the Eye Witness radical? It opposes the 
Insurance Act, and curses Lloyd George. 

I am sending you a copy of the Heptalogia for the priest 
who wanted it, if you can remember which he was. It is the 
last copy on sale, as this edition is out of print. Give it to 
him, with my compliments, and tell him that American pub 
lishers and booksellers never take money from the clergy. 
I recommend you to read it, particularly "Disgust" and "The 
Person of the House." They are not at all proper reading 
for the British clergy! What have you been teaching the 
unsuspecting old person? Tell him to send me a copy of the 
Oxford and Cambridge Review and The Church Times, other 
wise known as the Sunday Punch. By the way, the summer 
number of Punch which you sent me was very good. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



77 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Cragmere, Mahwah, N. J., 1912 

DEAR BRAT I hope this letter reaches you you are 
wandering about Germany, I suppose, and I feel a provincial 
distrust in the postal authorities of the Continent of Europe. 
I am writing regularly for the Book Review Section of the 
Times now, a long article every week. A week from tomorrow 
I leave my present job to become one of the editors of The 
Churchman. This may strike you as somewhat humourous. 
It is, perhaps, not without its amusing aspects. 

I thank you for the various weeklies, which arrive regularly. 
I enjoy particularly The Eye Witness, which is, I think, a very 
brilliant publication. I told you how much I appreciated 
"Pepy s Diary." I received a copy of "Gifts of Shee," and was 
much pleased with its appearance. I certainly have cause 
to be grateful for your musical gifts. Thank my father, to 
whom I will write soon, for the two papers he sent me. Your 
latest letter (like most of them) was very amusing. The de 
scription of the bored youth with the wrist-watch was par 
ticularly entertaining. 

I will write you a longer letter soon, but it s well into 
Monday morning now, and I must get up at six. 

With love from Aline, Kenton and Rosamonde, and to 
my father, I am, 

Affectionately yours, JOYCE. 



78 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Sept. 21, 1912 

DEAR BRAT Monday I start work on The Churchman, 
at 434 Lafayette St. The present manager of that paper was 
an instructor in English at Columbia when I was a student 
there, and he was manager of the Baker & Taylor Co. when 
they published my book. I am keeping up my articles in 
the Times and The Digest, and probably my Current Litera 
ture work. 

I am looking forward eagerly to the renewal of our Thurs 
day luncheons. My new office is not far from the St. Denis, 
so perhaps we shall make that the place for our meetings. It 
is a very good restaurant, as you probably remember. 

Aline is much pleased with the jewelry you sent her, and 
will write to thank you soon. She will forward to Mrs. Alden 
and Constance the gifts you bought for them. They will be 
very glad to get them. 

I am enjoying the magazines which you are sending, and 
I am looking forward to seeing you soon. Rosamonde, Aline 
and Kenton send love, as I do, to you and to my father. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



January 23, 1913 

DEAR BRAT I enclose card for the first of the Authors 
Club receptions. It takes place, you see, on the afternoon 
of the day of the Dickens Fellowship Dinner. 

The Poetry Society Dinner is next Wednesday. Tell me 
what colour gown you are wearing, so I can order especially 
good flowers. 

Be a good child and I ll buy you some wax vestas. 

My story in this Sunday s paper is about a typewriter- 
telegraph. I have a poem on the same page. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 
79 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Mahwah, N. J., May 4, 1913 

DEAR BRAT Thanks for the letters received recently, 
written on the boat. 

We went to a dance last night, and expect to go to another 
next Saturday. Rose is gaining steadily and becoming very 
good looking. There was a suffrage parade yesterday in New 
York, but we didn t let her go to it. 

I enclose some verses which you have not seen. "Servant 
Girl and Grocer s Boy" is to appear in the Smart Set, and 
"Trees" will probably appear in a magazine called Poetry. 

It is very nice out here in the spring there are large 
numbers of violets, ranging in color from deep blue almost to 
red, and some of them are striped light blue and white, also 
there is an admirable dog-wood tree near the house, and we 
have planted several vines. 

Later I am going to send you some manuscripts and ask 
you to try to sell them for me. 

How are you getting along with the music you were to 
have published? I am looking forward to receiving copies. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



80 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1913 

DEAR BRAT As I write I smoke some of the admirable 
tobacco you sent me. The pouch is very nice. The meer 
schaum pipe has turned a beautiful brown and will soon be 
black all except the tusks, which, being of ivory, do not colour. 

The small photograph of you that accompanied the 
tobacco is amusing. The pictures with your godchildren were 
certainly excellent. 

We are putting down a sand walk in front of our house, 
and we hope to put grass seed in soon. 

I will send you copies of the Smart Set, the Catholic World 
and The Bellman containing some new verse of mine. Do you 
think you ll get a birthday present? Rose says you will, but 
she hasn t any sense. I was interested in the clipping you 
sent me in which my article was quoted from the Times Book 
Review, and I am enjoying the English magazines very much. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



81 



EMORIES OF MY SON 



1913 

DEAR BRAT It s time I heard from you! Next week 
I am to lecture on Nicholas Nickleby before the Dickens 
Fellowship. Isn t that absurd? I may be president of it 
next year. 

You said that you had forgotten the "Suicide" poem I sold 
to the Smart Set, so I send you herewith a manuscript copy. 
Kindly read it to eight vicars, two bishops and a cardinal. 
It will do them good, for it is a highly orthodox poem. I will 
send you a copy of the Smart Set for June containing it, and 
also a copy of the May Catholic World containing "Stars." 

By all means see "The Hour and the Woman" at the 
Cosmopolis Theatre, Holborn, if it is given while you are in 
London. I suppose my father supplies you with copies of 
the Times Book Review, and it is probable that you can live 
without reading The Churchman. 

Tell your clerical court that America is widely excited 
over the proposal to change the church name from "Protestant 
Episcopal" to "American Catholic." This question is to be 
decided at the Convention this summer, but undoubtedly the 
old name^will be retained. The Convention is to be held in 
New York this year, you know, and I will probably attend 
some of the sessions. 

I hope you had a pleasant trip and that you made the 
acquaintance of the Pages. I was not sure of their identity 
until I was on the dock. I think you met her at one of the 
Authors Club teas during the past winter. 

Eat plenty of large strawberries with thick cream and drink 
Whitbread s ale. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



82 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Mahwah, N. J., 1913 

DEAR BRAT It was very pleasant to receive the magazines, 
which have come in accordance w T ith my request. I was par 
ticularly glad to receive the copies of The British Review, 
which is a magazine I admire very much. The Suffragette 
came also, with the pin still fastened upon it. 

I hope you enjoy your visit to London. You were wise 
to go there, I think. It seems absurd to visit England and 
spend no time in London. 

I have a new job. I am working for the magazine section 
(not the book review) of the New York Times. For some 
months, you know, I have been dependent on book reviews 
and verse for a living. 

Aline and I are delighted with the beautiful buckle you 
sent her. She is writing to thank you and to describe the 
Board of Health dinner in New Brunswick, which would have 
entertained you very much. 

I sent you a copy of The Catholic World containing "Stars" 
and a copy of The Churchman containing a "Memorial Day" 
poem. If you have not received them, tell me and I ll send 
you other copies. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



83 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1913 

DEAR BRAT I suppose by this time my father is with 
you. I am sending you two copies of the Times Book Review 
containing some special articles which I wrote. I will be 
glad when the dictionary work is over, so that I can devote 
more time to the pleasanter and more profitable occupation 
of writing. 

Did you receive the Heptalogia? 

The house looks pretty well now. I dug a blind drain to 
keep surface water from running into the cellar. 

I am enjoying "Pepy s Diary." I had always wanted to 
read it. I have said this in two previous letters, but your 
letter recently received asks me if I got the book. 

I hope you enjoyed Fr. Parker s call. Gray doesn t know 
him, but he knew his brother. Rosamonde enjoyed her poem, 
and should write and say so. As for the Yorkshire Herald, 
probably your conscience has by this time punished you 
sufficiently. It s all right, absurd infant! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



84 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Sept. 21, 1913 

DEAR BRAT Heaven knows where you are now pre 
sumably in Italy. 

Be sure to let me know by what boat you are sailing, at 
what time and from what port! If in Italy you happen to 
see a good wall crucifix of iron, brass or bronze not of wood 
I d like very much to have it. 

I have in this Sunday s Times Book Review a poem in 
memory of Mme. Faure, who died last month. She wrote 
over the name of "Pierre de Coulevain." I think you read 
her novel, "Sur La Branche" ("On the Branch"). She was 
an old maid who travelled alone all over Europe, living in 
hotels and writing novels about the people she saw. The title 
"On the Branch" refers to her mode of life, her flitting from 
hotel to hotel. I am sending you a copy of the paper contain 
ing the poem, but since papers are delivered less surely than 
letters, I am sending also a manuscript copy. 

I expect to bring out another volume of verse this No 
vember. The book is to be dedicated to to whom do you 
suppose? Why, to you if you are a good child! Think of 
that! 

Did you see my poem called "To Certain Poets" in the 
October Smart Set? The Smart Set is published in England 
as well as America, I believe. I sent you a copy of The 
Bellman, containing "St. Alexis," but I have not seen mention 
of it in your letters. 

The Home News ran your letter with these head-lines: 
"Mrs. F. B. Kilmer Has Success with Her New Songs. Nearly 
all the Edition of Before the Fair Sold Likes London 
Asks Policeman Where to Get Hairpins. Is the Guest of 
Noted People." 

It is a very good letter. I have cut it out and saved it 
for you. Well, enjoy yourself. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

85 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1913 

DEAR BRAT I hope this reaches you when you land. I 
have just finished writing a review of Alfred Noyes "Tales 
of the Mermaid Tavern." It is an admirable book; you must 
read it. Aline has sold two poems to Harper s Weekly, and 
I have sold "Stars" to The Catholic World. I ll send you a 
copy when it is printed, which will be during the present 
month. I hope you enjoyed your trip and made the ac 
quaintance of the Pages, for I am now sure it was they. We 
did not recognise them, however, until we left the boat. 

My father is coming out for a week-end soon. I hope that 
by the time you get back you will find vines growing about 
our house. We are going to plant some soon. 

I am getting a higher rate of pay from the Times now, 
which helps considerably. 

Be a good brat, and buy yourself two reception gowns. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



86 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



April 20, 1914 

DEAR BRAT Today the elevator starter (you always call 
him the "porter") in the Times Building said to me, "you 
ought to get a cable from your mother soon." And tonight 
my father telephoned that you had landed. 

Now I should say "not a word from you yet!" and lament 
that you didn t send me a letter by the pilot. I hope you had 
a comfortable trip. 

There is soon to be, it seems, a war with Mexico. Prob 
ably it will be declared tonight. Mr. Ihlseng you remember 
his wife, who is very active in the Dickens Fellowship is in 
Mexico, and Mrs. Ihlseng is very much worried about him. 
The war will be over in a month or so, but there will be fight 
ing with the bandits in the hills for years, just as there is still 
in the Philippine Islands. 

You have bought, I suppose, the May Smart Set with my 
poem "Delicatessen." I will send you the May Smart Styles, 
which contains my essay on alarm-clocks it is called "The 
Wiban Chanticleer." 

Eat English mustard on roast beef, and lemon juice on 
chops. Drink a mixture of white creme de menthe and brandy 
before meals, since English cocktails are bad. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



87 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



April 30, 1914 

DEAR BRAT Finally I got a letter from you; this morn 
ing, in fact. I m sorry you had a dull voyage, but I know 
you ll make up for it rapidly. I hope you enjoy the Dickens 
Pageant, or whatever it is that you are attending as repre 
sentative of the Dickens Fellowship of New York. 

I will send you a copy of Smart Styles containing my essay 
on alarm-clocks. I suppose you have read the Smart Set 
with my poem "Delicatessen." 

In London there is a paper called The Standard. In a 
recent issue it contained an article about my translation of the 
new-found stanzas of "The Rubaiyat," which appeared in 
the copy of the Times that I gave you when you sailed. 
But the author of the article called me Miss Joyce Kilmer, 
and spoke of the Evening Times. 

The Dickens Fellowship gives an entertainment at the 
Waldorf Saturday. Tom Ferris, an English actor, is to do 
Dickens impersonations. Next year we ll give a play every 
month, and you will be Mrs. Nickleby and anything else you 
like! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



88 




JOYCE KILMER AND His MOTHER ON RETURN TRIP FROM 
ENGLAND, 1914 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



May 27, 1914 

DEAR BRAT I got a very nice letter from you today. I 
am glad you are enjoying the Dickens Fellowship business. 
The picture illustrating my poem "Trees" is not the drawing 
which appeared in a magazine called Scouting, which reprinted 
the poem, but a photograph mounted on a grey cardboard 
panel, with the poem lettered underneath. 

I have written a one-act play called "Some Mischief Still." 
tt is a satire on Feminism, and will appear in the Smart Set. 
tt may be produced in vaudeville, if I have good luck. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is now in New York for a brief 
itay. I expect to interview him soon. 

Did Montagu come to see you yet? I gave him your ad- 
Iress, and he said he wanted to call on you. 

Don t eat vegetable marrow; it s a foolish vegetable. 
5at English mustard on roast beef. In hot weather, take 
i tall glass, put in two fingers of Gordon gin, one finger of 
ime juice, plenty of cracked ice and fill with lemon-soda. Let 
t get very cold and you will find it an excellent drink. And 
ion t put sugar and water in your claret, unless it s very bad. 
yVhite mint and brandy shaken up together with cracked ice 
nake a good substitute for a cocktail. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



89 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



May 30, 1914 

DEAR BRAT I don t owe you a letter, but nevertheless 
I write. I have received several copies of London newspapers 
from you, which were very interesting. Much obliged. 

We are making quite a garden out at Mahwah, or rather, 
Aline is. I am too busy to be able to do much about it. 

What was the name of the Canadian Pacific Railway 
Company s boat we sailed on once? Of course, you have 
read of the Canadian Pacific boat that sank in the St. Lawrence. 

Conan Doyle is over here now. I did not interview him 
for the Times, because I was busy interviewing Justin 
Huntley McCarthy (who wrote "If I Were King") and a 
Hungarian named Dr. Farkashozy. 

Kenton enjoys his map of England tremendously, and can 
put it together as well as I can, or better. He is planning an 
early visit to the Circus. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



90 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



June 6, 1914 

DEAR BRAT I hope you enjoyed the Dickens Convention. 
We will probably have a show next year, something like the 
trial of, whatever his name was, for the murder of Edwin 
Drood, that they had in London and in Philadelphia last year, 
only we ll have Dickens himself as defendant, try him for 
being a back-number or a sentimentalist or something of the 
sort. What do you think of the idea? By the way, if you 
can get a full account of the trial that the London Dickens 
Fellowship had, I ll be much obliged. 

My version of the new quatrains of Omar Khayyam, which 
was in the copy of the Times I gave you when you sailed, is 
being used in some way in connection with the play "Omar 
the Tentmaker," now running in San Francisco. If it comes 
back to New York in the autumn, we ll go to see it perhaps 
we ll have a box given us. 

I suppose by now you have received Aline s letter saying 
how much she liked her excellent sash. It is certainly a beau 
tiful thing. I am smoking my pipe and find it very good 
indeed. x\lso young Kenton enjoys his map. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



June 11, 1914 

DEAR BRAT This morning I received the book "Dickens 
Land" and two copies of the Rochester Dickens Fellowship 
magazine. Thank you. I am glad to see that you sang, 
especially that you sang "The Yellow Gown," which is, I 
think, your best song. But they are all good. 

Bose is in good health, having recovered from a slight 
poison-ivy. 

What do you think you ll get for a birthday present? 

I enclose a sonnet that I have not yet sold. Houvenkopf 
is a mountain. Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

91 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



June 23,;51914 

DEAR BRAT I suppose you are enjoying Yorkshire now. 
Thank you for the Yorkshire papers recently received. 

We were, of course, much exercised about the robbery, 
and glad that you recovered your property. Your story of 
the affair was most graphic and entertaining; I enjoyed it 
tremendously, but I confess that I am somewhat bewildered. 
This, at least, is clear a villainous Spanish girl had designs 
on a virtuous chief of police, and you rescued him by sitting 
up in bed and singing "Terre d Amour," in a red kimono and 
boudoir cap. Then Scotland Yard was notified and Dr. 
Watson came with Sherlock Holmes and said that they would 
take care of your trunk. So you all went off to a Sunday- 
school treat, singing "The Yellow Gown." 

Has Montagu been to see you yet? I don t know what 
his address is. 

I will send you a copy of the July Current Opinion. I 
succeeded Leonard Abbot as editor of the Letters and Art 
Department, you know. 

Don t forget that you are to suggest a title for my new 
book! It will appear early in September. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



92 



ERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



July 1, 1914 

DEAR BRAT I hope you are enjoying Yorkshire. Your 
friends, the Suffragettes, seem to be spending a busy summer. 
It wouldn t surprise me for the American Suffragettes to 
adopt militant tactics soon. 

Your account of the Liberal meeting was most amusing. 
Who told you you could heckle public speakers? The to 1 acco 
has not yet arrived, but I suppose it will be here by the time 
you get this letter. Thanks very much. 

Rose seems to be gaining strength and is in excellent health. 
She has quite recovered from attack of poison-ivy. She 
seems to be steadily gaining strength in her arms and can now 
lift one hand to her mouth and feed herself, when she is lying 
down. 

In Sunday s Times I have an article about a newly found 
poem of "Sappho," the discovery of which you may have seen 
noted in the London papers. I have made a translation of 
it into English "Sapphies," that is, into the same form of Eng 
lish verse. I will send you a copy, though I suppose my father 
keeps you supplied with American newspapers. 

When do you go to Yorkshire? I suppose my letters will 
be forwarded if they arrive at The Norfolk after you leave. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



93 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



July 10, 1914 

DEAR BRAT Thanks for the excellent tobacco. It is 
very good indeed. I smoke it in that briar pipe you sent me; 
one of the best pipes you have given me. Kenton insists on 
swiping the "Dam family" pipe to blow soap-bubbles through. 

I edited a symposium which appeared in last Sunday s 
Times, on "What Is the Best Poem in the English Language?" 
Twenty-five prominent English and American poets took part. 

The publishers called the book "Trees and Other Poems." 
I think that the titles you suggested are much better, par 
ticularly "The Fourth Shepherd and Other Poems." But 
possibly that would make the book seem too devotional. 
"Trees" is my best-known poem, I believe. The book is 
dedicated to you, and so also is one of the poems, "Folly. 
I put "To A. K. K." as "Folly s" dedication, because I didn t 
want to repeat the dedication of the book. 

I ve got to go down to the publishers be a good brat 
and take rum on grape fruit. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

IQld 

X ~/ J.T? 

DEAR BRAT That is an excellent music box you sent Bose. 
She enjoys it very much and so do we. I remember that I had 
one like it, only round. 

I am glad you are enjoying the Bochester Convention. 
The Dickens Fellowship meets tonight, and I will read a part 
of the report you sent me. I am glad to have the copy of the 
"Valentine" song. I have not had a chance to have it played 
yet, but I remember the excellent tune, and I want to hear 
you sing it. 

I wrote a one-act play Sunday. It may appear in the 
Smart Set. I sent it to them first. 

Enjoy yourself, and drink Barley Wine every day. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

94 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1914 

DEAR BRAT I think that that pipe you sent me is the 
best one you ever bought for me. It s not the most elaborate, 
of course, but it s an excellent pipe, good briar with a good 
bit, and it takes up very little room in my pocket. Thanks, 
very much! 

I am glad you are enjoying London. Your account of the 
meetings of the Dickens Fellowship was most entertaining. 
You will probably have a very good time at Rochester. 

I will get the elevator starter s (not porter s) last name and 
send it to you soon. 

This afternoon I am going to Greystone, Mrs. Samuel 
Untermeyer s residence on the Hudson, in a special car with 
other members of the Poetry Society. Some of us are to 
read aloud on the lawn; it s a sort of a May festival. I will 
read "Trees" and perhaps "Old Poets." 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



95 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1914 

DEAR BRAT You will receive a very nice birthday present 
indeed, if you are a good infant. Your birthday poem may 
not reach you on your birthday, because it s to be an extra 
special birthday poem, to be used as the dedication to "Trees 
and Other Poems." But you ll get it soon. 

Did you see my poem "Waverly" in the London 
Spectator? I got a sovereign for it. It was reprinted in the 
London Public Opinion, which reprinted in the same issue 
my poem "The Bartender," from the Smart Set. This year 
is the one-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Sir 
Walter Scott s "Waverly," the first of the series which was 
called the Waverly novels. 

I suppose you have seen my play, "Some Mischief Still," 
in the Smart Set by now. I hope you found it amusing. It 
may be brought out in book form by Vaughan and Gomme 
this autumn. 

Your account of the lunatic in the train is most entertain 
ing. I enjoyed it tremendously. 

Be a good infant, and you ll get a good birthday present. 
And we ll have fun next winter. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



96 




PHOTOGRAPH OF HAND-LETTERED COPY OF THE FAMOUS 
POEM "TREES," SENT TO JOYCE BY AN ADMIRER, AND 
PRESENTED TO His MOTHER 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 

1914 

DEAR BRAT I had a queer experience recently. I re 
ceived a big square of grey cardboard on which some one had 
carefully lettered my poem "Trees" and pasted above it a 
beautiful photograph of a tree. I found out later that it had 
been done by a man out in St. Louis, Missouri, whom I do not 
know, and William Marion Reedy, editor of the St. Louis 
Mirror saw it and got him to send it to me. You can have it 
if you wish; it makes rather a nice decoration. I ll keep it 
till you get back, though; you won t want to carry it all over 
England. 

Has Montagu been to see you yet? 

I may give two lectures a week on English poetry at the 
Comstock School next year. I am going to see about it today. 
Are you going to Stratford-on-Avon? There is some special 
celebration there this year or perhaps they had it last month. 
Enjoy yourself, and drink musty ale. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE, 



April 29, 1915 

DEAR BRAT Here is a letter which I received after you 
sailed. I will have my Underwood & Underwood pictures 
developed and send one over to you. The pictures of you 
certainly are delightful. 

I hope you get acquainted with George Arliss, if that was 
he whom we saw just before the boat sailed. He is a very 
great actor. 

This is not a regular letter ; it s just to carry the letter I am 
forwarding. I ll write you a regular letter soon. Be a good 
brat and enjoy yourself. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 
97 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1915 

DEAR BRAT Here is a picture taken Easter day. I don t 
think you have seen it before. It does not look particularly 
Eastery. 

I enjoyed your two graphic letters very much. This 
certainly is an exciting time to be in England. Your letter 
about the soldier and his little boy was particularly interesting. 

I told you, I think, about my visit to Hunter College, 
where I read several poems and saw Miss Cone, Miss Wide- 
mer and Miss Klauser. They all spoke affectionately of 
you they had asked me to have you take dinner with them 
and marvelled at your courage in sailing. Miss Cone said, 
when I said you had been asked if you were going to be a 
trained nurse, "The Uniform would be becoming to her!" 

I read some poems at the First Congregational Church in 
Flushing one evening last week. 

I hope you liked my "White Ships and the Red." I have 
received many letters about it. I received two today, al 
though the poem was printed nine days ago. It was widely 
quoted. 

I am much obliged for the numerous papers. The ac 
counts of the anti-German riots were interesting. Did you 
see any of it? 

I am sending a copy of a sonnet I wrote in memory of 
Lieutenant Rupert Rrooke. He was a fine poet, who enlisted 
early in the war and died of sunstroke in the Dardanelles. 
I think he was the most gifted of all the younger English poets. 
The sonnet will probably appear in the New York Nation and 
I am also sending a copy to the London New Witness. 

Be a good infant and enjoy yourself. Kenton, Rose, 
Deborah and Aline send love. 

Affectionately yours, JOYCE. 



98 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1915 

DEAR BRAT Miss Widemer recently sent me the pic 
tures which I enclose. She asked for your address, and said 
she d send you a copy. She sent me also an absolutely de 
lightful snapshot of you, which I am keeping, since she will 
send you another. I have given her your address. 

I am enjoying Punch tremendously. All the other publi 
cations for which I asked you are coming regularly except 
The New Witness. 

I enclose a circular announcing my lectures, although 
I have a vague recollection of having sent you one before. I 
expect to go out West lecturing in the late autumn and winter. 

It looks now as if we d get into war with Germany, but 
of course there is no way of knowing what will happen. At 
any rate, the war has aw r akened the United States to a sense 
of the necessity of adequate armaments. It is probable that 
we will have henceforth a large standing army and perhaps 
also a system of compulsory national service. It certainly 
would be a good thing. 

The first Thursday after your return I will take you to 
Farrish s Chop House for luncheon, unless you want some 
place peculiarly American for a change. Farrish s is the only 
place in New York that I have found where they keep Burton 
ale an admirable beverage which I hope you enjoy daily. 

Be a good infant, and scare off Zeppelins with your um 
brella. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



99 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1915 

DEAR BRAT I got the admirable pipe this morning. 
Thank you very much; it s just the sort of pipe I like. It has 
a persh stem, which is the proper sort of stem, and the bowl 
is made out of an excellent piece of briar. 

Last week I went up to D youville College, in Buffalo, 
to deliver a graduation address. D youville is a very fine 
college for young ladies, conducted by the Grey Nuns. I am 
going there again to lecture on Lionel Johnson. 

Naturally, the reports of bombs being dropped on England 
are disconcerting, especially since the papers do not give the 
names of the places struck. You certainly have selected 
a lively place for a holiday. 

I am enclosing with this a few circulars of my book. I ll 
send more if you want them. I send also a copy of a poem 
which has jiot"yet]appeared in print. 

Kenton is grateful for his postcards, and sends his love, 
as do the rest of the menagerie. As Kenton is learning to 
read print, he would appreciate receiving a postcard on which 
you had inscribed, in large letters, some brief and appropriate 
message which he could decipher for himself, such as, for 
example, THE BABY BITES THE CAT. 

Be a good child and don t let England go prohibition. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



100 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1915 

DEAR BRAT I don t think you can be getting all my 
letters. I notice you have not said anything about a little 
snap-shot of myself I sent you some weeks ago. Perhaps the 
censor got it. I ll send you one of the large pictures made by 
Underwood & Underwood some time this week. Also I will 
send you a copy of Harper s Weekly, containing an essay of 
mine called "Daily Travelling." 

I am glad you liked the poem on Rupert Brooke. Did 
you receive one called "The Circus"? 

I am glad to receive the papers you send me from time 
to time. You must take in all the shows and generally have 
as good a time as you can, because it does not do to be idle 
in a country situated as England is today; the atmosphere 
will distress you unless you amuse yourself. 

Don t bother about the Dickens Fellowship. The New 
York Chapter will be tempted to secede unless it receives some 
recognition. It paid its dues to London for a long time, but 
got no benefit therefrom. Next year I ll have New York Chap 
ter nominate you for vice-president of the main body. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



101 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1915 

DEAR BRAT You certainly should have received the 
Truth prize for the best Lusitania acrostic. Your poem was 
admirable; certainly the best of those printed. I showed it 
to my friend, Albert Crockett, who agreed with me that it 
was very good indeed. 

I am enjoying the magazines and newspapers which you 
send me. Much obliged. The pipe is excellent, as I have 
already told you. 

I am surprised that you failed to receive the little snap 
shot which I sent you. I enclose in this envelope a clipping 
from the Book News Monthly, in which the picture is repro 
duced. I will send you this week one of the Underwood & 
Underwood photographs. 

We had not heard of the Zeppelin attack on Hull. Take 
care of yourself, adventurous infant, and stay inland. Buxton 
should be safe, I suppose. Fortunately, the Zeppelin attacks 
on England seem to be mainly spectacular. 

What do you suppose you are going to get for your birth 
day present? 

Yours aifectionately, JOYCE. 



ACROSTIC ON THE LUSITANIA 

(Referred to in Joyce s letter) 

Let us remember to our latest day, 

Under whose flag the devilish deed was done! 

So let our children s children scorn the Hun! 

In Hell s vast concourse every fiend was gay, 
To know the thousands hurled beneath the wave, 
At sunrise living night an ocean grave. 

Never shall Germany forgiven be! 

In every heart where love and pity flame, 

A murderer and the Kaiser are the same. 



102 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1915 

DEAR BRAT This evening s papers say that numerous 
Americans in London have been warned to leave the city. 
Were you warned? I don t suppose you d leave, however, 
until you were good and ready to, if the Kaiser himself blew 
up Horrex s hotel. However, I imagine you ll find Coxwold 
more comfortable. 

I can t remember whether or not I sent you a copy of my 
poem "Under Canvas." I enclose a copy anyway. I ve 
sold it to LippincoWs Magazine. 

I have enjoyed the papers very much, especially those 
with the accounts of the anti-German riots. I also was very 
glad to see the picture of Horrex s. We certainly had a good 
time in London last summer. 

Rose is gaining in strength, under Miss Berg s ministra 
tions. Deborah already can crawl around the bed, which is 
considered advanced for her age. 

Try Gruyere cheese on soft toasted biscuit, with bottled 
port. An excellent combination, especially since you are 
where those commodities grow. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



103 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1915 

DEAR BRAT This evening I was looking through an an 
thology, and I came across "A life on the ocean wave, A home 
on the rolling deep." And who should be its author but 
your old friend Epes Sargent! Furthermore I find that he 
was born at Gloucester, Massachusetts, September 27, 1812, 
and died at Boston, December 31, 1880. Requiescat! 

The destruction of the Lusitania has, of course, caused 
great excitement, and an anti-German feeling almost uni 
versal. There are now no neutrals and no pro-Germans, 
only Americans and Germans. President Wilson s message, 
delivered today, is firmer than was expected, and Germany 
will either comply with the American demands, paying an 
indemnity, apologising and promising to change her tactics 
of naval warfare, or find the United States in the field against 
her. And this will be a formidable matter, small as are our 
army and navy ; we can send England much more ammunition 
than we are at present sending and also take possession of 
the German merchant vessels now in New York harbor. I 
enclose a poem from next Sunday s Times, which shows my 
attitude in the Lusitania affair. The torpedoing of an un 
armed ship, carrying neutrals, certainly cannot be justified; 
it was an error as well as a crime. 

You remember, I suppose, that I told you I was going to 
go in for fiction. I have started in. I took a story called 
"Try a Tin Today!" to a literary agent this morning. 

It must be exciting to be in England, but the United States 
is exciting enough itself, nowadays. Feeling is as high as it 
was during the days preceding the Spanish-American War. 
I think that the effect of America s entrance into the hostili 
ties will be to hasten the coming of peace. 

I hope you find the Fauconberg Arms comfortable. Drink 
plenty of Bass good Heavens, think of Bass at sixpence 
when I pay .30 for a drink, Bass only in name! 

You ll be having a birthday soon, now, won t you? Be 
a good infant and see what a present you ll get ! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 
104 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1915 

DEAR BRAT I m afraid you didn t like your birthday 
poem! Your postcard about it seemed to show that you 
didn t like it. It s a good poem, however, and I ll give you 
another one when you come back, when you get your regular 
birthday present. 

I hope the letters I posted to you at Coxwold have been 
forwarded to you at Buxton. Remember me to Mr. Smilter. 

I am going lecturing in October I sent you my lecture 
circular, I think. I ve already had offers from Cincinnati, 
Chicago, Washington, Toronto, Sharon (Pennsylvania) and 
Prairie du Chien (Wisconsin) and Buffalo. 

I enclose a poem which I hope to sell to the magazine that 
printed "The House With Nobody In It." My sonnet on 
Rupert Brooke, which I sent you, will be in the New York 
Bookman for September. I ll send you a copy. I sent you 
a Harper s Weekly with my essay on "Sign-boards" recently. 

I suppose Buxton is pleasantly busy after the quiet of 
Coxwold. But don t drink those flat sulphurous waters 
drink ale! And when you get back, I ll take you to Farrish s 
Chop House and we ll have some Burton ale. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



105 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1915 

DEAR BRAT I m sorry you didn t like your poem; as 
a matter of fact, it s a good poem. But I ll give you another 
when you get back, when I give you your birthday present. 

My father was out yesterday to Mahwah. He sails next 
Saturday. He seems well. 

Aline s spoons must have gone down on the Arabic. She 
will value her ivory cross highly. I am glad you got it. 

You remember the Book News Monthly, which printed 
Mrs. Byer s interview with me? I have a job reviewing poetry 
for it. I am to write four articles a year about all the new 
books of verse. 

I hope to publish a book of essays soon. I find I have 
twenty-five on hand. 

I am looking forward to your return and will, of course, 
meet the boat. I don t think there is much chance of a war 
before your return. But we must go to war sooner or later. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



1915 



DEAR BRAT I don t know that this letter will reach 
England before you sail, but it may be forwarded to. the boat. 
As I ve already told you, you are to receive a new birthday 
poem when you return, as well as your birthday present. 

That letter of yours about the hypothetical wounded man 
carrying his own head was a highly entertaining bit of descrip 
tion. You certainly can write letters! 

As to my lectures, most of them will be out West. But 
I may have some in Montclair and Jersey City, and these 
I ll certainly give you an opportunity to attend. 

You are an impudent infant, with your comments on my 
interview with Dr. Vizetelly! 

I ll be very glad to have you back in a respectable country. 
The first Thursday after your return, we ll have luncheon at 
the Garret restaurant, where they have that excellent view 
over the harbor. And "Treasure Island" is to be played this 
year we ll have to go to see it! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

106 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1916 

DEAR BRAT Glad you find Grimsby amusing. Canada s 
a nice place, but ridiculous confusion in money American, 
English, Canadian absurd. I repeat hoping thereby to 
hurt the censor s feelings absurd! 

Hope you found the Hotel Statler in Buffalo comfortable. 
I think the Statler hotels are the best in the country better 
value for the money than any New York hotels. 

In a week or so I m going out to Winona, Minnesota, to 
give a commencement, address. And by the way, I have to 
wear a cap and gown do you know where those garments 
are? I have an idea that they are in New Brunswick, but 
I don t remember seeing them there. 

It s possible I ll be up towards Grimsby in July or August, 
if you re a good infant. I suppose my father keeps you sup 
plied with newspapers and magazines, doesn t he? Let me 
know the names of any you wish sent. 

We had the last Dickens Fellowship meeting of the season 
last night. Ellis Parker Butler read. It was pouring, so 
there wasn t much of a crowd. 

Well, I ll write you again soon. By the way this is very 
important by all means drink Cosgrove s ale! It s made in 
Canada. You can t get it in the United States, and it s 
admirable much better than the Bass you get over here. 
Be a good infant and drink large quantities of it. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



107 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1916 

DEAR BRAT I m rather glad you re going to the Berk- 
shires. I thought you might find Grimsby dull. It s pleasant 
to have been in Canada, however. What part of the Berk- 
shires do you intend to go to? You might find it more amusing 
at Cape Cod. There are some nice places to stay at there. 

It s a fact about its being bad for the eyes for anyone to 
shave his upper lip. You see, a man in shaving his upper lip 
focusses his eyes upon it, thus crossing them. And this 
inevitably has a weakening effect. And that s why artillery 
officers and I have moustaches. 

I m going back to New York at the end of this week. I 
have a lecture at Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, on Friday or Saturday. 

I am glad to learn you are going to drink Cosgrove s ale. 
It is an admirable beverage. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



103 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1916 

DEAR BRAT Much obliged for letters and papers. My 
father found the academic cap and Aline believes the gown is 
in a box in our cellar. If I don t find it I can borrow one. 

I m going West the end of next week, giving an address at 
a college in Winona, Minnesota, a week from Monday, that 
is, the fifth of June. On the 10th of June I lecture at Sin- 
sinawa, Wisconsin. The intervening days I expect to spend 
at Campion College, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, visiting 
some friends. That is the address you d better put on any 
letters you send me the latter part of next week or the early 
part of the week following. 

I am glad you find Grimsby comfortable, and earnestly 
urge that you drink Cosgrove s ale. On this side of the border 
it is impossible to obtain it. It is made in Toronto. 

"Main Street" will be in House and Garden soon. I ll 
send you a copy. 

I m not going to Montreal this June, but I ll be at Cliff 
Haven, which is on Lake Champlain, in the northern part of 
New York State, in July, and I may run up to Grimsby then. 
I don t think it s a very long trip. 

You ought to do some more writing while you are at 
Grimsby. I think you could have sold that "Cooking Dinner" 
story if you d expanded it and sent it out to magazines a few 
more times. Sometimes a story goes to fifteen or twenty 
magazines before it is taken. I recently sold The Argosy 
a story called "Try a Tin Today!" that had been rejected by 
about a dozen magazines. 

Edward Marshall has just returned from his exciting ad 
ventures abroad. He was on the Sussex when it was tor 
pedoed, and the shock made him deaf. But he will probably 
recover his hearing. 

Be a good infant and don t forget to drink Cosgrove s ale. 
I have about four books being published presently essays, 
poems, and anthology, book of interviews, and a book of 
Belloc s poems for which I wrote a preface. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 
109 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1916 

DEAR BRAT That was a very entertaining tragic letter 
you sent me today, or rather, that I received today. I guess 
you ll find Grimsby all right after you get used to it. 

I read before the Federation of Women s Clubs yesterday, 
and Dr. Mary Walker was present. Have you ever heard of 
her? She wears a frock coat and trousers, being permitted 
to wear men s clothing by a special Act of Congress. She 
was a nurse in the Civil War. 

I am growing a moustache to save my eyes. You know, 
shaving the upper lip is said to weaken one s vision that is 
why all artillery officers are obliged to wear moustaches. If 
you don t believe me, ask an officer. 

The mortar-board was in New Brunswick, and I found the 
gown down cellar out here. I leave for the West Saturday 
morning, and from the 5th to the 10th of June my address 
will be as I told you Campion College, Prairie du Chien, 
Wisconsin. 

In this envelope you will find a picture taken when I was 
in Cleveland some weeks ago. The dog is very good-looking, 
but he was unfortunate in not knowing how to pose for a 
photograph. 

I am sending you by this mail a copy of The Bellman, 
containing a poem of mine called "The Proud Poet." I don t 
know whether or not you ll like it it s a colloquial sort of 
a thing. 

You have not yet replied to my inquiry as to Cosgrove s 
ale! Kindly give this matter your immediate attention! 

Be a good infant and you may get a birthday present. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



110 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 

Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern, N. Y., 1916 

DEAR BRAT Thanks for excellent tobacco and pipe. My 
ribs are healing up rapidly, so the doctor says I ll be out of the 
hospital this week. I think the rest has done me good; this 
is a delightful place to stay, and commuting is hard in hot 
weather. I may take another week off after I leave the hos 
pital. 

My accident may make your birthday poem arrive a few 
days late, but you ll get it all right. Be a good infant, and 
you ll get nice birthday presents after you get back. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

Don t think of coming out here! I ll be out and probably 
back at Cliff Haven before you could get here. 



1916 

DEAR BRAT Enclosed you will find your birthday poem. 
I hope you like it; if you don t, tell me, and I ll write you 
another one. 

I am out of the hospital now, and expect to go to my work 
in New York within a week. I am not going to Cliff Haven 
until later, so as to take in a celebration they have there, and 
also the wedding of some people we know. 

The Ramapos, mentioned in the last line of this poem, are, 
you know, the hills around Mahwah. 

I am glad you find Adams pleasant. You must take a 
motor ride to some of the deserted villages out toward Ar 
lington, Vermont. 

Be a good infant and drink cider. Musty ale is not a good 
drink; I got it mixed up with Burton ale, which is excellent. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 
ill 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Mahwah, N. J., 1916 

DEAR BRAT It certainly is time I got a letter from you. 
I ve had several postcards which seemed to indicate more 
or less violently, your departure from Canada. It must be 
nice to see Mt. Graylock, a most excellent mountain, as I 
remember it. You should take a motor trip up through the 
Notch to the Bellows Pipe, if possible, and also look up Dave 
Eddy, the original "Dave Lilly." I think you will find it 
very pleasant in the Berkshires, and hope Arthur s wife is as 
good a cook as his mother was. Is Arlington, Vermont, near 
where you are? I know some very nice people there, who sent 
us some excellent maple sugar and syrup recently. 

I am going to Cliff Haven to lecture for the week beginning 
July 17, and after that I may go to the training camp at 
Plattsburg for a month. I think it will do me a lot of good to 
go to Plattsburg, and it will also be enjoyable. 

I am now in my office, and find your address on a postcard, 
so this letter will reach you all right. But it certainly is time 
I got a letter from you! 

According to this morning s paper, we are at war with 
Mexico, so the Plattsburg camp may be off. Might go to 
Mexico, instead, with young Michael. 

Be a good infant and you ll get a good birthday poem. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



112 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1916 

DEAR BRAT Hope you don t mind being written to in 
pencil. It s impossible to go upstairs and get ink without 
disturbing thousands of young children. I am sending you 
herewith pictures of some of these young children. I will 
later have some pictures taken of Rose giving a tea she sits 
out at a little table in a tent I recently bought and serves 
imaginary tea in the excellent tea-set you sent her. The tea- 
set, being of tin, can be left out all night, and even given to 
Deborah to play with, without danger of the destruction of it. 

I am going to Cliff Haven, on Lake Champlain, on July 
17th, to lecture at the Summer School. By the way, the men 
standing beside me in the picture I sent you are priests 
neither of them is a layman. We are on our way to the 
Mississippi to go for a ride in the motor-boat. It certainly 
is nice out in Prairie du Chien. I really think you d like the 
Middle West better than the East, and I know you d like 
Chicago better than any other great city, except London. 
It is not in the least like New York, and its hotels are abso 
lutely heavenly. I am a good judge of hotels, as you, having 
been to the Statler, are aware. 

I am glad you are enjoying Adams. It must be fine to see 
Mt. Graylock again. Remember me to Arthur. We enjoyed 
much your entertaining description of the humours associated 
with the local tragedy. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



113 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Aug. 24, 1916 

DEAR BRAT Thanks very much for excellent pajamas, or, 
in the British manner, pyjamas. I needed them. Much 
obliged. Kenton likes his suits, and will himself write to 
thank you. He is teaching Rose her catechism. A few morn 
ings ago he was dressing, and Rose was sitting on the bed. It 
was about half past seven. Kenton asked the first question 
in the catechism, which is, "Who made you?" Rose answered 
the question correctly, but without enthusiasm. Then Ken- 
ton asked the second question, "What is Man?" Whereupon 
Rose threw herself forward until her head rested on her knees, 
and said weakly: "0, Kenton, I m dying! Don t ask me any 
more!" So Kenton stopped teaching her the catechism until 
after breakfast. 

I took up so much time with my week at Cliff Haven 
lecturing, and my month at the hospital and at home, that 
I won t be able to stay away from my office any more this 
summer. Otherwise I d try to get up to Adams. 

I will send you a copy of Punch containing my essay "The 
Booklover," which you will read with more equanimity than 
that with which you regarded "The Bally Pub." Your old 
friend, Louis Wetmore, came out here while I was laid up, 
and bitterly reproved me for writing disrespectfully of musty 
ale, a beverage which he says I drank with enthusiasm when 
we were in London. 

Say, today, I suddenly saw your birthday present in a shop 
on Fifth Avenue! It is a very large present, and very nice 
the nicest you ve had! You ll receive it as soon as you get 
back. 

Be a good infant, and drink Hinchcliffe s ale, and Evans 
pale ale, but not Evans Indian ale. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



114 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 

1916 

DEAR BRAT Glad you are enjoying Adams. Did you get 
the copy of Punch I sent you, containing "The Booklover"? 
When are you coming home? A very good place to eat is the 
Park Avenue Hotel, which has a very large fountain in its 
dining room. 

By the way, I forgot to tell you that when I was laid up 
with broken ribs, the things that I read most frequently, and 
with the greatest enjoyment, were the bound volumes of 
Punch, and the volumes of Leech s drawings. You brought 
them to me from England a few years ago, and I think they re 
the best present I ever received. Their humour wears ad 
mirably. 

I find myself about to vote for a Republican candidate for 
president. I expected to vote for Roosevelt, but in default 
of him I ll vote for Hughes. The Mexican situation alone is 
sufficient to make me vote against Wilson. 

I am glad you are keeping up your croquet. Why don t 
you have a croquet field made at New Brunswick? There is 
plenty of room in the side yard. 

I ll be glad to see you, and you ll get a very nice birthday 
present. Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

1917 



DEAR BRAT Of course I d be glad to see you in N. Y. 
You could stop at the Savoy. But the only free time I have 
is 12 to 2, and I generally have errands then, so it wouldn t 
be worth while coming. We leave for the South August 5. 
Thanks for the toilet case just received. Eagerly await hussif. 
Soon fed by U. S. A. I hear it s very nice in Spartanburg, S.C. 
Good swimming there. You ll get birthday poem soon, 
perhaps. If you don t like it, return it and get another. 
All goods returnable. I hope you don t call soldiers Sammies. 
Disgusting nickname. Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

115 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



En Route Chicago, June 12, 1917 

DEAR BRAT Got a very nice letter from you this morning. 
Glad you like Fr. O Connor. Also glad you ll be back on the 
18th of June. We ll go to Healy s Golden Glades, a very 
amusing place. 

I am making a flying trip to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, 
to give the Baccalaureate address at Campion College. I 
expect to get back to Larchmont on Sunday morning. It s 
a big trip just to give one address, but I made the engagement 
last February and didn t want to break it. Also I greatly 
enjoy visiting Campion it is a beautiful place, and the people 
there are very nice. This will be my fourth visit to the 
college. 

The children are all well and Michael is very elastic when 
you punch his stomach your fist bounds back as from a punch 
ing bag. It is excellent exercise. I am going to teach it to 
Deborah; I think it will be helpful in developing her upper 
arms. 

I have not yet heard about my anthology, but I think 
George H. Doran will publish it. He has accepted "Main 
Street and Other Poems" how do you like the title? 

When our lease expires in October I think we ll take an 
other house in Larchmont near where we are now, but closer 
to the Sound. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



116 




JOYCE KILMER, B.A. (COLUMBIA, 08) ! 

PHOTOGRAPH BY UNDERWOOD & UNDERWOOD, TAKEN 
FEBRUARY 8, 1917 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1917 

DEAR BRAT I got your very amusing letter on my return 
from the West, where I had a fine time. My Baccalaureate 
address delivered at Campion is to be printed as a pamphlet. 
I ll send you some copies. I may have copies of it next week 
when you are in town. Also I may have my poetry prize 
medal then. I don t expect to go to camp until about July 
15th, but after July 1st, I may be on duty in New York at the 
Armory. 

I am going to write an article that will amuse you about 
Alfred Watts, the imaginary poet Margaret Widemer and 
I created. 

Isn t it exciting about Dr. Condon and New Brunswick? 
Do you remember him? I remember seeing him ride past 
the house. 

We ll have a lot of fun next week. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



July 10, 1917 

DEAR BRAT If you desire I will send you a number of 
circulars like the one enclosed. 

The Seventh stays at the Armory after next Sunday, and 
then in about ten days goes to a training camp, probably in 
South Carolina. I ll send you the address as soon as I know 
it accurately. I find I ll have to get a lot of stuff to take to 
camp with me I only learned what I would need last night. 
Will you please give me an order on Rogers Peet, 34th Street 
store, or telegraph it (not signing the telegram "Gerber") to 
get some truck chiefly hussifs and towels and similar things? 

Received a very amusing letter from you recently. Glad 
to know my judgment as to the appropriate wrist for watches 
was correct. The one you got me is excellent and keeps good 
time. Much obliged! Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

117 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1917 

DEAR BRAT I think I ll get my father to send you some 
stamped and addressed envelopes to use in writing me! The 
enclosed envelope was posted in Pittsfield with a one cent 
stamp, and I had to send another one cent stamp to Pittsfield 
to get it! If I d done a thing like that 

I m going to Prairie du Chien soon for a commencement 
address, but I have to take the train right back after it because 
of drill. We were on guard in the Armory all day, expecting a 
riot call, but none came. We expect to go to training camp 
July 15th. 

Be a good infant and you ll get a nice birthday present. 

Aline, Michael, Kenton, Rose and Deborah send love. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



1917 

DEAR BRAT Enclosed letter may amuse you, especially 
the part about the deserted grandsons. Entertaining thing 
to do. Aline and I think of shipping Kenton and Michael, 
not to speak of Christopher, to Cheshire. By the way, Chris 
topher does not mean "cross-bearer," but "Christ-bearer," 
which is something else again. I gave Mrs. Sillcocks desired 
information. I hope no other aspiring authors have infantile 
photographs of me. I go to the Armory to stay Sunday, but 
I ll have time off frequently to go home and to the office. 
I don t know when we ll go to training camp; perhaps in 
August, perhaps in September. I am engaged on an anthology 
of Catholic poems, to be published September 1st; have to 
finish it this week. Wrist watch keeps good time and enjoys 
resting Melvolina. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

118 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1917 

DEAR BRAT Do you know that in addition to being worn 
on the left wrist, a soldier s wrist-watch should be turned so 
that the face is parallel to the palm, not the back, of the hand? 
No hussif yet received! Very soon I ll be in camp, and ready 
to receive such things as boxes of cigars, cans of tobacco, cans 
(or, if you prefer, tins) of ginger snaps, and pipes and such 
things. 

I passed my Federal physical examination yesterday, and 
tomorrow all the Regiment is mustered into Federal service. 
I drill about four hours a day, and also have guard duty and 
such things. I didn t get to the office today, but expect to 
do so tomorrow. There will probably be a letter from you 
there. When I come back from the war I don t think I ll 
go back on the Times; I think I ll get a department on some 
magazine and spend more time lecturing. 

Be a good infant and you ll get a nice birthday present. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



1917 



DEAR BRAT Presently you ll get a telegram from me, 
sent collect, if you don t look out! I ve sent you two letters 
and got only one! Write! But I got a postcard and two 
telegrams, and also a telegram from my father telling me to 
write. From your telegram I m glad to learn you received 
my letters. Ridiculous. Nevertheless, you ll get a very 
nice birthday present from me this year. And we ll have a lot 
of fun when you come back at the end of June. We ll go to 
Healy s Golden Glades a very amusing place. 

I have written four articles for "Warner s Library of the 
World s Best Literature" the articles being on Masefield, 
Cawein, William Vaughn Moody and Francis Thompson. 
Louis Wetmore has just come in and sends you his love. He 
has enlisted in the 7th, too. Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

119 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1917 

DEAR BRAT Thanks for order on Rogers Peet. Got 
several things there today safety razor, bag, etc. They 
didn t have hussifs. If you find any, you might send me one. 
Address me at Times until I give you my new address. I may 
find out tonight where I ll be stationed. I think we ll be in 
New York at the Armory for a month yet, but I m not sure. 
Have to go on the wagon Sunday, when we are mobilised. 
Terrible, isn t it? Also, we can t smoke on the streets when 
we are in uniform, and we are always to be in uniform! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



1917 

DEAR BRAT I haven t heard from you since you left 
N. Y., but there may be a letter at the office. I haven t been 
there recently I ve been too busy at the Armory. For the 
last twenty-four hours I ve been on guard duty two hours 
on and four hours off. By the way, I m supposed, you know, 
to have become much thinner since I joined the army. Well, 
I got weighed yesterday and the scales showed 178 pounds 
only two pounds less than I weighed last winter! So either 
I ve not lost fat or I ve gained muscle. 

If, or when, my transfer to the 69th goes through, my ad 
dress will be Private Joyce Kilmer, Company K, 165th Regi 
ment, Camp Mills, Mineola, Garden City, Long Island, New 
York. You see, or rather don t, that the 69th is now the 
165th. But I ll let you know when, or if, the transfer occurs. 

That certainly is a fine pipe you bought me. I m enjoying 
it daily. I hope you got your bag. Let me know if you 
didn t and I ll send you another poem. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

120 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1917 

DEAR BRAT Sorry to be so long in writing to you, but 
1 am spending most of my time since Monday at the Armory, 
and have had no time to do any writing. I drill about five 
hours a day, and have guard duty and other things like that 
to attend to. I guess I must have lost about 10 pounds this 
week. It s terribly hot, and we still wear our winter uni 
forms woolen breeches and woolen shirts. We expect to 
go to training camp at Spartanburg, South Carolina, about 
August 5. We are not yet all mustered into Federal service, 
and expect to have the Federal physical examination to 
morrow. Then we ll be mustered in. The Federal physical 
examination is stricter than the State examination, which I 
passed when I enlisted, April 23, but I expect to pass this 
all right, as I must be in better shape than when I enlisted. 
All this week we ve been at the Armory from 9 A. M. to 4:30 
P. M., and sometimes later. I was one of the detail from the 
7th that went to General Austen s funeral and fired a volley 
over his grave. 

I told you, I think, about the Catholic anthology I m 
trying to finish up. I hope to be able to work at it Sundays 
when I m in camp. 

As to hussifs, they are what you Americans call house- 
wifes , or rather housewives , field sewing kits; in other words, 
you get them at department stores and Rogers Peet doesn t 
carry them. 

You ll get a birthday present and a poem if you are good. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



121 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



1917 

DEAR BRAT Enclosed find copies of the two sonnets that 
won the prizes I mentioned in a recent letter. "The Annun 
ciation" won first prize, and "The Visitation" second, as I told 
you. I ve asked the magazine to give second prize to some 
one else. 

My new book "Main Street and Other Poems" will be 
published September 1st. I have just signed the contract. 

What time in June will you be back? I ll be in New York 
until the last day of the month, but my Monday and Friday 
evenings are taken up by drill, so be back on some other 
evening and we ll go to Healy s "Golden Glades," which is the 
most magnificent cabaret ever made. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



1917 

DEAR BRAT I have no copy of your birthday poem, but 
will try to rewrite it from memory, and if I can t, I ll write 
another one for you, and perhaps you ll like it better. I ll 
give it to you the old or the new one when I see you this 
week. Constance s wedding is next Thursday at 8:30 at 
the National Arts Club. I am to lead the bride up the aisle 
and hand her to Mr. Alden, who will give her away. It will 
be a military wedding, as the groom has just been commis 
sioned Captain. Constance is not sending out any invita 
tions, only announcements. She is very glad you are coming ! 
We will have a lot of fun. I suppose you ll come on Wednes 
day and stay until Sunday, won t you? 

I m sorry I had to get back to the Armory so soon the last 
day you were in New York. We certainly are working hard 
these days. But it s a very interesting life. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

122 




PRIVATE JOYCE KILMER, JUST AFTER His TRANSFER TO 

THE 165TH (69TH) REGIMENT 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1917 

DEAR BRAT When I go to training camp still is uncer 
tain. The Seventh Regiment takes part in a farewell parade 
of New York on Thursday of this week, but it may not leave 
for a week after that. Then again it may leave next day 
but probably not. As you know, I am being transferred to 
the 69th (now called the 165th). The transfer has not yet 
gone through, but it may this week. It is certain to go 
through in the course of time. Then I ll go to training camp 
at Mineola, N. Y., instead of at Spartanburg, South Carolina. 
I ll let you know when I myself know. 

Your letter was highly entertaining, especially the re 
ported conversation. Amusing critter. Send you another 
birthday poem soon. Regimental drill this afternoon, so 
I find it hard to write. Be a good infant and by all means 
have cinnamon toast for your tea. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



123 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Headquarters Company, 165th U. S. Infantry, 
American Expeditionary Forces, November 12, 1917 

DEAR BRAT My fountain pen doesn t work well, so per 
haps you won t mind being typewritten to this time. We 
are arriving today, all in excellent health and spirits. I hope 
to be able to cable to Timpson to cable to you of my arrival, 
but do not know whether or not I shall be able to do so. 

I ll be glad to receive some envelopes addressed to you, 
as I may have some difficulty in obtaining plain envelopes. 
The Y. M. C. A. supplies the soldiers with free stationery, but 
it is all covered with American flags and things. The last 
lot of groceries you mentioned did not reach me before my 
departure, but it has probably been forwarded from the camp 
and will undoubtedly come in handy over here. It s pretty 
cold and damp this morning, but I believe it will be pleasanter 
and healthier than Camp Mills. 

Your friend, Father Duffy, would send his love if he knew 
I were writing to you. He has been doing the work of about 
twenty chaplains, but seems to thrive on it. Yesterday 
afternoon he held a service for Protestants, and I typewrote 
some hymns for distribution "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," 
"Nearer, my God to Thee," "Onward, Christian Soldiers" 
and the like. The service was well attended and the daily 
masses have been crowded. 

Aline must have had a hard time with the children having 
whooping-cough. I hope that they are well over it by now, 
but I am afraid that they are not, for I remember the ailment 
as lasting for a month or so. 

When you see Mrs. Corbin tell her that I greatly enjoyed 
the chocolate cake she sent me. It arrived in excellent condi 
tion. I ll write to thank her very soon possibly today. If 
she wants to know what to send me over here, you might sug 
gest copies of The Century, Scribners, and other magazines, 

124 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



and if she wants to send books you might tell her that I have 
at present a great desire for paper-bound copies of the works 
of Wilkie Collins. Also, anyone sending Christmas boxes 
to soldiers should do so at once. 

You ll get your Christmas present this year, but it may be 
a little late. Be a good infant ! 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



125 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



Headquarters Co., 165th Inf., 
A. E. F., France, January 13, 1918 

DEAR BRAT I have not had a letter from you since Christ 
mas Eve, but I believe there is a bunch of mail awaiting me 
at a nearby station, and I expect it tonight or tomorrow. 
Yesterday I got a very fine package from you containing six 
glasses of admirable jelly and a box of chocolate covered nuts. 
Much obliged! Sweet stuff like that is what I desire above 
everything else now. That and cigars. Also I received from 
John Timpson & Co. $100.00 in American Express Cheques, 
and $9.50 from the 7th Regiment, back pay, and a fountain 
pen from my Council of the Knights of Columbus. A pretty 
good haul I 

This town is rather like some of the English villages you 
love so much. I think you would enjoy a trip through France 
some time, but probably not this winter. However, I am 
comfortable enough, and can do without an afternoon nap 
and cream on my shredded wheat. 

I enjoy your letters tremendously, and am looking for 
ward to getting a batch of them tomorrow. I wish I could 
write half as interestingly. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



126 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Headquarters Co., 165th Inf., 
A. E. F., France, January 31, 1918 

DEAR BRAT In the course of a day or so you should re 
ceive one of the Aime Dupont pictures I had taken last August 
or September. They are not particularly good, but they are 
the only pictures in uniform I have had taken. Aime Dupont 
sent them to me at Camp Mills, and they were forwarded to 
me out here. 

I received a second box from Finley-Acker, containing 
excellent jelly and much candy. From my father I have re 
ceived several boxes of cigars, as well as $200.00. I hope he 
received my letter of thanks. 

Your letters come, not regularly, of course; that is not to 
be expected these days, but in bunches three or four days apart. 
Judging by the numbers I am getting them all. It is a great 
pleasure to hear from you so frequently, and you certainly 
can write letters worth reading. I wish I could write half as 
interestingly. 

I think you will enjoy a trip through rural France after 
the war is over. You will find it very much like the parts 
of England you like best in architecture, landscape, people. 

I was very much interested in hearing that Maurice Kane 
is coming over as a Y.M.C.A. worker. As you know, I am 
not exactly a Y.M.C.A. enthusiast, but what they are doing 
for the troops over here in the way of selling American tobacco 
and cakes, and furnishing writing and reading rooms is very 
good, and most, if not all, the men in the work are over the 
age when they could be good soldiers, or have some physical 
disqualification; so I don t think any the less of Maurice for 
going into the work, but it is amusing considering his High 
Church ideas. 

By the way, and "why," you ask, "do you say by the 
way," read "Monksbride," by John Ayscough. I think it is 

127 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



published by Dodd, Meade Co. Or, if you don t want to buy 
it, Aline will loan it to you. 

I suppose you have read the new Sherlock Holmes book? 
Admirable! I enjoyed it as much as I enjoy his earlier stuff. 

It is getting to be much pleasanter out here with the coming 
of spring. I imagine it must be delightful in the summer. 

I think that my father s plan for sending you to San 
Francisco for the spring and summer is excellent. By all 
means do it. 

I have not yet received the additional envelopes you spoke 
of. The name of my anthology, concerning which you in 
quire, is "Dreams and Images" Anthology of Catholic 
Verse, and the publishers are Boni & Liveright. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



128 




MOTHER OF SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER, 1917. TAKEN AT 
JOYCE S REQUEST 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



1918 

DEAR BRAT Got a very delightful letter from you today 
from Lakewood. I am glad you enjoyed your stay there. 
The sweater arrived, and it certainly is a magnificent 
specimen of knitting, and the wristlets are wonderfully purled, 
whatever purling may be. Probably I shall need both sweater 
and wristlets for many weeks, for although it is spring now, it 
often is cold. Much obliged I 

Under separate cover I am sending you my warrant as 
Sergeant. I thought you might like to have it to frame and 
hang in the Old-fashioned Room. The "draft" in the corner 
means that the Regiment was drafted into Federal Service; 
that is, made a part of the United States Army instead of a part 
of the New York State National Guard. 

I suppose you have read in the newspapers of the Regi 
ment s recent activities. Now we are taking it easy in a very 
pleasant little town. I hope we may stay here at least a 
month, as it is hard to work when the Regiment is moving 
about the country. I had a week s respite from office work 
some time ago, and spent it doing what is called observation 
work for the Regimental Intelligence Section. It was most 
interesting. 

Did Aline tell you of Kenton s success in school? It seems 
that he won a gold medal for being the best pupil in the school. 
I was delighted to learn it. So nearly as I can remember, 
I was not an especially keen student when I was his age, 
although I became one later. 

There is practically no chance of my rising any higher in 
the Regiment than Sergeant, and I am perfectly content. 
To become an officer, I would have to go to school away from 
the Regiment for several months, then if I failed to pass my 
examination and win a commission, I would be sent to some 
other regiment than this, and if I succeeded I would be sent 
as an officer, not back to the 69th, but to some other outfit. 
I want very much to stay with the Regiment; I have many 

129 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



good friends here, and I would feel lost in any other military 
organization. 

I am looking forward to receiving the photographs you 
have had taken. They must be fine. By this time you 
probably have received the one I sent you. I hope you like it. 

I hope that the meatless, wheatless day hysteria has 
passed. It was a foolish idea, of no possible value to the 
country, and potentially harmful. 

Your letters are very gratefully received, and I am looking 
forward eagerly to receiving the cake and candy you mention. 
Everything else you have written of in your letters has ar 
rived in good condition, and a day or two ago I got five big 
jars of excellent tobacco from the Dickens Fellowship. A 
most intelligent gift. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



130 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Headquarters Co., 165th Inf., 
A. E. F., France, April 18, 1918 

DEAR BRAT The sweater arrived a few days ago, and 
I certainly was glad to get it. It is a fine garment, beautiful 
to look at and most comfortably warm, and the touch of red 
is delightfully characteristic. Much obliged! 

I have not heard from you, nor from any one in the States 
for about two weeks, but tomorrow or next day six truck 
loads of mail will be left at Regimental Headquarters, and 
there surely will be several letters from you. We get our mail 
in big lots. For about two weeks we have been receiving 
packages and no letters. I received the candy, of which 
I spoke at length in a recent letter, and which I remember with 
enthusiasm, and a number of newspapers from my father, 
and some Saturday Evening Posts from you. I greatly en 
joyed the story you praised, "Call for Mr. Keefe." I interviewed 
its author, Ring Lardner, when I was last in Chicago. I do 
not think that the interview appears in my book. 

And speaking of my book, let me renew my inquiries 
about my anthology, "Dreams and Images." Why does not 
some one send me a copy? I have asked Aline, but in vain. 
I should think the publishers would be sending me a copy, 
but I have received none from them. I don t ask you to send 
me one ; when you are minded to send anything, let it be candy 
box after box, but much cheap candy rather than a little 
costly, but I shall be grateful if you will remind Aline to send 
me a copy. She must have received many of them from the 
publishers. 

I am enjoying this town greatly, and wish I could tell you 
its name. There is a little river near here, and this afternoon 
I had a swim. The water was pretty cold, but it was good to 
get a real wash and to splash around a little. It is getting 
nice and warm now a great relief for all of us. 

131 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



I am glad you enjoyed your stay in Lakewood. I enjoyed 
the fruits of it in the form of those two magnificent boxes of 
candy. 

I hope you make a trip to California. It will do you a lot 
of good and be a fine experience to remember. 

I am enclosing a letter from John Timpson & Co., which 
you will please give to my father. It relates to an insurance 
application which he wanted to make for me. He asked me 
to cable to him about it. I didn t have any money, so I wrote 
to John Timpson Co., and had them cable. The allusion in 
the letter to the prospect of seeing me, is the result of a state 
ment in my letter to the effect that I might go to England on 
my leave. I expect to have seven days leave soon, but I am 
afraid I will not be allowed to leave France. 

I am looking forward to receiving your photograph soon, 
and some letters. 

Be a good child, and go to see "The Copperhead" and tell 
me how you like it. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



132 




JOYCE KILMER S MOTHER LOOKING AT His PICTURE. 
TAKEN WHILE HE WAS IN FRANCE, AND MENTIONED 
IN His LETTERS 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Headquarters Co., 165th Inf., 
A. E. F., France, April 27, 1918 

DEAR BRAT Do not be alarmed at the multiplicity of 
requests enclosed The reason is that, as you are aware, 
packages can no longer be mailed or expressed to soldiers 
serving in France except at their request, approved by their 
Regimental, or higher, commander. So I have had the en 
closed list typed and approved. The system is this: You 
desire to send me some cigars, let us say. If you merely 
address a box of cigars to me it will not be taken by the postal 
authorities, but if you show the receiving clerk in the post office 
or some other authorised person, the enclosed duly approved 
request, you will find that he will accept the package for 
transmittal. That is the use for which the slips are intended. 
They are not meant to be requests requiring immediate 
attention. 

I have asked to be relieved from my statistical work, and 
expect to be out of the office by Monday; today is Saturday. 
I am going into the Intelligence Section, which is much more 
interesting work than I have been doing. I expect to keep 
my rank of Sergeant, but I would be willing to do it even if 
I had to become a Private. My work in the Intelligence 
Section is that of observer, for which my newspaper work has 
given me some preparation. 

I hear that a load of mail has arrived, so I probably shall 
receive a letter from you before evening, I am glad to say. 
Yesterday I got a copy of the Saturday Evening Post from you, 
and I certainly was glad to see it. 

In one of your recent letters your account of your verbal 

battle with one of the musical amused me very much, 

not only because "we stay-at-homes" seemed to me to be 
excellent satire, but also because I have a vivid recollection 
of being "done" by a musical for concert tickets some 

133 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



fifteen years ago. However, I paid him eventually, and I 
shouldn t hold a grudge against him. If I held a grudge 
against every one who has "done" me since that time, I d 
have a scruge-like existence indeed. But I can t help en 
joying having him so neatly and completely crushed. 

It s nice and warm now, a pleasant relief after a severe 
winter. Some days ago I went in swimming in a river near 
here; it was very enjoyable, and yesterday I had a shower 
bath. It s fine to be within reach of such a luxury. 

I wonder where you will spend your summer? Probably 
not in Canada, after your experience there last summer. I 
think you probably would do well to try the Adirondacks this 
time. So far as I can remember, you have never been there, 
and there is a good deal about it you would like. 

By the way, the young man you met in Henri s was not an 
officer, but a non-commissioned officer like myself, only some 
grades higher, since you say he was a Sergeant-Major, and 
the number of his regiment indicates that he is a drafted man. 
Enough of him. However, some of the drafted men are very 
nice fellows. 

I am going to have some postcard photographs taken in 
a nearby town as soon as I acquire the requisite ten francs, 
which will be soon, and I will send you several (not francs, but 
photographs) , also you will get your belated valentine soon. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



134 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Headquarters Co., 165th Inf., 
A. E. F., France, May 18, 1918 

DEAR BRAT Under separate cover I am sending you a 
couple of postcard photographs which will amuse you. I 
like them better than the picture in uniform I had taken in 
the States. 

As to your "War Mother" poem, I hesitate to tell you how 
much I like it, because I m afraid you will think I am trying 
to flatter you. It certainly is the best poem you ever wrote 
beautiful, original and well sustained. I have seen no recent 
war verse I like so well. There is no question but what you 
will sell it to some good magazine. I certainly congratulate 
you, and congratulate the magazine fortunate enough to 
print your poem. 

I am very glad to hear of the deserved success your songs 
met at Lakewood, and in general of your triumphs at the Dick 
ens Fellowship and elsewhere. I wish I could have witnessed 
them, but I will be seeing more of the same sort next winter. 
That is what we like to hear about over here triumphs and 
celebrations, and in general, the pleasant and prosperous 
course of civilised life. Of course, we soldiers are undergoing 
hardships and privations. We expect to. But we don t 
spend our time advertising them. But in the States when they 
find they must do without quite so much wheat, or meat, or 
something of the sort, instead of just going without and keep 
ing their mouths shut, they advertise their remarkable ab 
stention by having "wheatless days" and "meatless days" and 
all that sort of hysterical rubbish, and filling the papers with 
the news, thereby disgusting us soldiers and undoubtedly 
comforting the enemy. I think I ll start a strawberry ice 
cream sodaless day for the Army; it would be just as sensible 
as what the people at home have been doing. If you (I don t 
mean you personally, of course) have to eat hardtack instead 

135 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



of butter-raised biscuit, why, eat the hardtack and shut up 
about it, but don t be such an ass as to have a butter-raised 
biscuitless Monday. And don t shut down on theatrical 
amusements, and don t deprive people of their honest drink. 
Merely making stay-at-homes dismal does not help the sol 
diers a bit. England s early "Business as Usual" scheme was 
more practical, and this is something of a concession for me 
to make. 

There is quite a sermon on economics for you. Kindly 
read it to my father, whom it will edify and instruct. A 
recent letter from him shows that he utterly misunderstands 
my point of view on this subject, the result of lamentable 
careless reading by him of one of my letters, in which I con 
trasted the sanity and common sense of the French through 
years of tragic poverty, starvation and ruin with the hysterical 
wail which a little self-denial brought from the States. 

I am now having a delightful rest on top of a forest-covered 
mountain. I had a month of very hard and exciting work, 
the nature of which you can imagine, and now I have a fort 
night s rest in ideal surroundings, and working only six hours 
out of every twenty-four, and that work is light and inter 
esting. 

Be a good infant, and send me your picture soon. No 
order is needed now. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



136 



Duand Madelon 

" 



POSTCARD SENT FROM FRANCE. 
INSCRIPTION ON REVERSE 
SIDE: "You MUST GET THIS 
SONG. IT Is TREMENDOUSLY 
POPULAR AMONG THE FRENCH 
AND AMERICAN SOLDIERS. I 
HOPE TO HEAR You SING IT 
BEFORE LONG" 




POSTCARD PHOTOGRAPH OF SERGEANT 
JOYCE KILMER, SENT FROM FRANCE 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Headquarters Co., 165th Inf., 
A. E. F., France, May 27, 1918 

DEAR BRAT Your picture has come and I certainly am 
glad to have it. I think it is by far the best picture you have 
had taken. You look about eighteen! That is a delightful 
costume. But you must send another copy of the picture 
to Larchmont for framing, since in order to carry this with me 
it will be necessary to remove it from the mount. 

I suppose by this time you have received the humourous 
photographs of myself I sent you. 

I am delighted to know of the Kilburn Hall project. By 
all means buy the Hall; it will be an excellent investment. 
Property is now very cheap in England and prices will rise 
as soon as the war is over. I hope to be able to spend my 
summers in France after the war, and I have the place in 
mind only about a day s run from London. I am absolutely 
in love with France, its people, its villages, its mountains, 
everything about it. America would do well to copy its at 
titude in the war. It has suffered tremendous hardships 
with dignity and humour, and kept its sanity and faith. 
America, to judge by the papers, grows hysterical over a little 
self-denial. Can t do without an extra lump of sugar in its 
tea without a band and speeches, and a sugarless Sunday.- 
It s funny and rather pathetic to us soldiers, but I honestly 
think, although it may seem conceited to say so, that when 
we soldiers get back from the war we ll do the spiritual and 
intellectual life of the States a lot of good. France has taught 
us lessons of infinite value. 

I am having an absolutely heavenly time since I joined 
the Intelligence Section. I wouldn t change places with 
any soldier of any rank in any outfit. This suits me better 
than any job I ever had in civil life. It certainly was fortu 
nate I left the 7th. 

137 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



As you know, the order about having written and approved 
requests for packages has been repealed, so let nothing deter 
you. The cake is not yet here. I will soak it in wine all 
right; don t worry about that. Speaking of wine, enclosed 
find some flowers given me by a very nice wineshop girl in 
a city near here. 

"Madelon" is a perfectly respectable song, but Madelon 
is not a gun or anything else of the sort; it s the name of a girl 
who serves wine to the soldiers, as the song clearly states. 

Read Eden Philpott s "Old Delaboll," a delightful tale 
of Cornish life. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



138 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



Headquarters Co., 165th Inf., 
A. E. F., France, June 14, 1918 

DEAR BRAT I am enclosing two poems which I think 
you will like. "Rouge Bouquet" is to appear in Scribner s 
for July or August. A friend of mine, Emmet Watson, of 
ours, made a magnificent drawing for it, which I hope will 
accompany it in the magazine. The "Peace-Maker" I have 
just this hour completed, and I have not yet decided where to 
send it ; probably to the London New Witness. 

Tomorrow I expect to send you two other poems: one your 
long delayed valentine, the other a long more or less topical 
thing about a hike, which I think you will enjoy setting to 
music. It introduces at intervals songs that we sing during 
long marches. 

There is a chance that I will be able to go to England on 
several days leave in a few weeks. In that case I shall prob 
ably spend most of my time in London, with a possible visit 
to Oxfordshire, where my friend Mrs. Denis Eden lives. 

I wish there was something I could do for you to expedite 
the purchase of Kilburn Hall, but since the Archbishop of 
York is in the States, you should yourself be able to make a 
deal with him. English real estate is a wise investment these 
days. It will go up fifty per cent, in a year s time. I wish 
I could afford to buy some property in this country. I cer 
tainly would like to live here. If the States go dry I honestly 
think I ll move my family over here; I can write for American 
papers without living in America. Then, if you move to 
Kilburn Hall I will be only a day s trip away from you, and 
you will love rural France almost as much as you love rural 
England. 

I believe no packages can be sent from the States to sol 
diers in France. They can, however, be sent from England. 

Be a good infant and learn to sing "Madelon." 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 

139 



MEMORIES OF MY SON 



(The last letter received from Joyce) 

Headquarters Co., 165th Inf., 
A. E. F., France, June 28, 1918 

DEAR BRAT I received three letters from you yesterday 
and today, the first I have had for a long time. Your letters 
always come in bunches like that, and this morning I received 
two admirable boxes of Mirror candy, in perfect condition. 
I certainly was delighted to get it, as it is a long time since 
I have had any candy. My gratitude is so great that I even 
will refer to it as "Sweets." I was also glad to get your pic 
ture taken on shipboard. You must send to Larchmont 
another copy of the picture of yourself looking at my photo 
graph, you sent me some weeks ago, as I had to remove it 
from its mount and cut it down to make it fit into my wallet. 

All the rest of the fellows in the Intelligence Section (there 
are nine of us, nearly all college graduates and men of some 
standing editors, brokers, etc.) have pictures of their mothers, 
but none of them so good looking as mine. You would be 
amused at some of the scenes when your picture is exhibited. 
Tired from a long hike from a stay in the trenches, I am having 
an omelet and some fried potatoes and some vin rouge beaucop 
in a French peasant s little kitchen. It is a cottage such as 
you and I often visited in Derbyshire and Cambridgeshire 
a low grey stone building with rose trees against the wall; 
a tiny garden and a geometrically neat path. The kitchen 
floor is of stone; the table is without a cloth, but shining from 
much polishing. The only thing to distinguish it from the 
typical English rural cottage is the crucifix on the wall and 
the wooden shoes at the door. (People wear sabots out-of- 
doors, cloth slippers in the house, leather shoes on Sunday.) 
After such a repast as I have described I take out my wallet to 
pay my bill, and the sharp eyes of little Marie or Pierre in- 

140 




JOYCE KILMER S MOTHER. TAKEN FEBRUARY, 1918, AND 
SENT TO HIM IN FRANCE. MENTIONED IN His LAST 
LETTER 



SERGEANT JOYCE KILMER 



tently watching this strange soldat Americain, spy the picture. 
At once an inquisitive but delighted infant is on my knee 
demanding a closer inspection of the picture. Then mama 
must see it, and grandpere, and veuve vatre from across the 
street (the man of the house can t see it ; he is away from home 
on the errand that brought me across the sea). Well, they 
all say "elle est jolie ma foi et jeune aussi." These comments 
have been made on your picture rhany times, in many towns, 
which I will one day show you on a map of France. 

I have not much anxiety for my father, for I look on his 
condition as a state of rest really necessary to a mind so con 
stantly busy, but I am glad that from you I have inherited 
the power of readily escaping from worry and work and enter 
ing with enthusiasm into whatever mirth I find around me 
in finding good and true and merry friends everywhere. I 
think that some of this quality would have helped my father 
very much and increased his bodily and mental health. I 
worried grievously about you for a while, and wished that 
I could have been with you when my father was taken ill, 
but I don t worry now; you are too spirited and courageous 
for anybody to worry about. I certainly admire you more 
than ever, and look forward eagerly to regular banquets at 
Henri s and Rector s with you. 

I want you to meet all the Regimental Intelligence Section 
a fine bunch of men and good comrades. We have taken 
big chances together, and it has made us the best of friends. 
You will like them and they will like you. 

Yours affectionately, JOYCE. 



141 



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